Magazine article Gramophone

'Sounds of War'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Sounds of War'

Article excerpt

'Sounds of War'

Janacek Violin Sonata Poulenc Violin Sonata Prokofiev Violin Sonata No 1 Maria Milstein vn Hanna Shybayeva pf Cobra (F) COBRA0045 (67' * DDD)

Linking these three violin sonatas under the title 'Sounds of War' produces a powerful recital. Each work caused its composer uncharacteristic difficulty, Janacek taking from 1914 to 1921 with his Sonata, Poulenc from 1943 until 1949 with his, while still remaining unsatisfied. Prokofiev needed from 1938 to 1946 for a work that seems also to have reflected the crushing fist of Stalinism. All three make considerable emotional as well as technical demands, and Milstein and Shybayeva have clearly studied them in depth.

Janacek's Sonata is an enigmatic work, with the lyrical 'Ballada' movement steadily undermined as it progresses to its forlorn conclusion; this is movingly handled, as is the balance between serenity and tension in the Allegretto, and the touching conclusion, with beautiful interplay between instruments throughout. …

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