The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Sarasate: Souvenirs de Faust, transcriptions & arrangements of works by Moszkowski, Chopin, Guignon, Mondonville, Leclair, Handel, Senaillé, Bach & Raff
An enjoyable finale to a valuable series exploring the Spanish virtuoso’s music
Saturday, 08 March 2014
Tianwa Yang (violin) Markus Hadulla (piano)
Young Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang has been busy lately for Naxos. With this release of arrangements and transcriptions by Sarasate she concludes her four-volume survey of the Spanish virtuoso’s works for violin and piano, following her earlier two-volume complete works for violin and orchestra.
There’s an intriguing mix of familiar and forgotten works here. A handful of waltzes and nocturnes by Chopin rub shoulders with his contemporary Moszkowski’s Guitarra and there’s a Baroque sequence taking in Handel’s ‘Largo’ from Xerxes and Bach’s ‘Air on a G string’ – both of which suffer from Sarasate’s lumpen realisation in the piano part – as well as works by Leclair and his lesser-known contemporaries.
The well-packed disc ends with Raff’s La fée d’amour, which Joseph Gold in his booklet notes identifies as Sarasate’s own favourite concert item: but it’s unremarkable for most of its 18-minute duration, except that Yang imbues it with charm while negotiating with ease its fast string-crossing and its sometimes stratospheric writing. The three Chopin waltzes are pretty enough, even if, shorn of the melody line, pianist Markus Hadulla resorts to some un-Chopinesque rubato.
The lesser-known of Sarasate’s fantasies on Gounod’s Faust, entitled Souvenirs de Faust, is a welcome rarity and Yang is especially stylish in the two Leclair sonata movements. Captured in a recording that conveys Yang’s range of articulation and tonal colour, this is a worthy conclusion to her Sarasate series.
From the March 2014 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.