20th century German Works for Solo ViolinHANS BÖRNER (1927-2006): From 50 Aphoristic Studies, Op. 54: Contrasts, Allegro appassionato (change of meter), Foxtrot, Waltz, Polka and Mazurka, Maestoso, Gypsy melody, RAINER LISCHKA (b.1942): 3 Pieces, 3 Frivolities, STEFAN FRENKEL (1902-1979): Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 1, MANFRED WEISS (b.1935): Fantasy for Solo Violin, JOHANN GEORG PISENDEL (1687-1755): Sonata for Solo Violin without Bass in A Minor.
Catalogue Number: 08X066
Reference: GEN 21750
Description: "A brief (selective) history of the violin in Dresden" might be the subtitle of this attractive recital of approachable, tonal works, all world premieres except one. Pisandel is represented, of course, because of his pivotal rôle in the development of violin composition and performance in the time of Bach, but also to highlight the extent of the influence of the Baroque tradition on the 20th century Dresden composers included here. The substantial five-movement Sonata by Frenkel, who held various high-profile concertmaster positions throughout his career, is technically formidable, with complicated double stopping and simultaneous playing of several voices apparently taken for granted. The opening prelude announces its time of composition - early 1920s - in a late Romantic vocabulary - but beginning with the following Scherzino all the way to the final fugue, the Baroque models are very clear, allowing for some neo-romantic harmonic and stylistic divergences from anything that would actually have been heard during that period. Lischka has declared that he wants his pieces to be entertaining, not to be confused with frivolous, and the brief Three Pieces, taking their inspiration from an Eichendorff poem about the power of music to transform the mood of a group of grumpy bystanders, combine the instant attractiveness of Baroque miniatures and folk tunes in an updated tonal idiom. The Three Frivolities would work in the same way on a more jaded contemporary audience, comprising a swinging Mambo like a jazzy improvisation on a Baroque theme, a plaintive blues, and a kind of exuberant hoedown. Börner's Studies were written, originally for recorder, with pedagogical intent, but like most good studies they also function as delightful little character pieces. Most of the selection here are based on dance forms - we have a winsome little foxtrot, an elegant miniature waltz, a polka, mazurka, and a Gypsy melody and dance like a tiny Hungarian rhapsody. The work that gives the disc its title is actually one of Börner's aphorisms, but "contrasts" are most abundantly on display in Weiss' multi-sectional, free-form Fantasy, which engages in a serious, even at times disconsolate or melancholy, tense internal dialogue which intermittently boils over in abrasive dissonance only to subside into indecisive questioning. Annette Unger (violin).