The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Dvořák: Capriccio: Rondo di concerto, Violin Sonata in F major op.57, Sonatina in G major op.100. Suk: Four pieces op.17, Balada op.3b
Deeply thought readings of music violin by Dvořák and his son-in-law Suk
Thursday, 01 September 2011
THE STRAD RECOMMENDS
Antje Weithaas (violin) Silke Avenhaus (piano)
Dvořák’s Capriccio hasn’t had a lot of luck. Although probably intended to become a concerto it got no further than this violin and piano work, which nobody wanted to publish. It’s a jolly piece when it gets going, with a stomping double-stopped dance in the middle that could have come straight from a Prague tavern, and lot of flashy passagework, that Antje Weithaas dispatches with glee. She and Silke Avenhaus give an open-hearted account of the F major Sonata, with steel to balance the exuberance of the first movement, delightfully nuanced tone and phrasing in the central Poco sostenuto, and vivid contrasts of vigour and delicacy in the finale. The G major Sonatina that ends the disc is given its due as having more to it than easy surface charm. There is thought and wit here, depth of feeling and magical delicacy in the central movement.
Two works by Dvořák’s pupil and son-in-law Josef Suk separate these three pieces. Suk’s Four Pieces op.17 occupy a world where passion and turbulence leaven Bohemian exuberance, and there are sombre tones in Weithaas’s playing, with moments of vehemence. The Balada is a student work, dark and full of angst, played by Weithaas with rich tone and sobbing phrasing. The recording is close and well-balanced.
From the September 2011 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.