MARC NEIKRUG (b.1946): Violin Concerto No. 1, Duo for Violin and Piano, Sonata Concertante for Violin and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 10J120
Label: Koch International Classics
Description: Neikrug's tense and serious concerto here shares the program with two large-scale solo works written for the present soloist and the composer, a long-standing collaborative team. The concerto alternates music of a confrontational nature with sustained introspective passages in long-breathed phrases. Much of the time the work hovers around the fringes of tonality, though a full-blooded romantic lyricism is ever-present. The duo explores complex rhythms with a certain freedom and improvisatory quality, which at times suggests jazz, which is there in the composer's background but not often manifest in his music. The sonata is a bigger work in every way, with active, quasi-symphonic textures throughout; the first movement alone is a tripartite structure with a cogent and thoroughly developed argument. A complicated but recognisable, highly ornamented blues follows, then an interlude, and the finale contrasts propulsive 'measured' music with tense and expectant passages free of meter. Violin and piano play in equal partnership throughout, marking this out as a powerfully discursive work, fully deserving its 'concertante' title. Pinchas Zuckerman (violin), Hessian Radio Orchestra; Marc Neikrug (piano).