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Friday, March 3, 2017

Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Works for Violin & Piano Vol. 2 , Stefan Kirpal, Andreas Kirpal

A close listen to Mieczyslaw Weinberg's Works for Violin & Piano Vol. 2 (CPO 777457-2) affirms that for all the revival hubbub on the Jewish-Polish-Russian  modernist composer (1919-1996), there really is reason to pay attention. The Kirpal team (Stefan on violin, Andreas on piano, Gundula on 2nd violin for one piece) brings to us a remarkable set of works with all the devotion and care we could ask for.

The two CD set gives us the Sonatas for Violin and Piano Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 6 plus the "Sonatina, op. 46," the "Sonata op. 69 fur zwei Violinen" and "Moldowische Rhapsodie op. 47/3."

These are works that beautifully remind us how unexpected much of this music can be. The rhythmic flow moves along in expected ways, yet the diatonic-chromatic melodic and harmonic twists and turns combine Jewish, Russian and Polish elements in completely untoward ways. In the process all sounds right. All sounds for us in a completely idiomatic, original way. You hear a bit of Prokofiev and Shostakovich in their wayward moods (and maybe all three share a common zeitgeist which is more than mere influence?), yet it never quite goes the way you expect, and that provides endless aural fascination.

The Kirpals phrase everything just so, all the more to set the listener up for the beautifully obstinate refusal to hit the bland notes.

This volume is a wonder. It needs to be heard! Exceptional in all ways, I would say.



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