Magazine article Gramophone

Tansman: Romance

Magazine article Gramophone

Tansman: Romance

Article excerpt


Romance. Violin Sonata No 2. Sonate quasi una fantasia. Sonatines--No 1; No 2. Fantaisie

Klaidi Sahaci vn Giorgio Koukl pf

Naxos (B) 8 573127 (79' * DDD)

Putting one's finger on the personality of Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986) can be bewildering and defeating. His core sensibility is elusive, his influences diverse and always shifting throughout his long creative fife. So amid the many Tansman orchestral recordings of recent years, this chronologically wide-ranging disc of violin-and-piano works--starting in 1917 with music written before his fateful departure from his native Poland to Paris, and ending in 1963, still more than 20 years before his death--charts his progression in a consistent medium without requiring one to digest the massive sonorities that he sometimes favoured in larger-scale works.

Once past the earlier, parlour-ish works, which have a certain prettiness Tansman hung on to in various guises, the last four pieces on the disc are consistent indeed, not quite following similar templates but definitely returning to the similar modes of expression that were characteristic of French music of his time, namely Stravinsky's neoclassicism, Poulenc's cabaret rowdiness and Honegger's musically mechanised portrayal of the machine age. …

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