The Strad Issue: January 2010
Musicians: Ivan Peshkov (violin) Olga Solovieva (piano)
Composer: Taneyev

Ivan Peshkov’s rich, soulful tone colour and sensitively controlled phrasing seems perfectly suited to the two heartfelt works for violin and piano on this disc of music by his compatriot Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev. The declamatory, late-Romantic style of the 1911 Sonata is impassioned and teasing by turns, and pianist Olga Solovieva brings a velvet, delicate touch to the virtuoso piano part. A silky smooth and beautifully understated Adagio cantabile leads into a curiously Bach-like minuetto – all question-and-answer phrases between the two instruments, dancing circle-of-fifth harmonies and aching suspensions. A rhapsodising Allegro provides a searching finale to this lovely late work: here Peshkov and Solovieva perfectly judge the mood of brooding restraint. The supreme clarity of the sound quality adds to the elegance of the performance.

After this, Solovieva goes on a wonderfully expressive foray through Taneyev’s piano repertoire, including five early, energetic Scherzos – four of which receive their world premiere recordings here – and the Chopinesque Prelude and Fugue op.29. Only with the final work are we back to violin and piano: the short, haunting Romance of 1908, an arrangement of a song from Taneyev’s cycle Immortelles. It is softly spoken and poignant, particularly in the hands of these most persuasive of performers, and made me long for more.

Catherine Nelson