Magazine article Gramophone

Sessions: Duo

Magazine article Gramophone

Sessions: Duo

Article excerpt

Sessions

Duo (a). Adagio (b). Waltz for Brenda (b).

Sonata for Violin (c). Second Sonata (b)

(ac) David Bowlin vn (ab) David Holzman pf Bridge (F) BRIDGE9453 (62' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

He was unfashionable before anyone knew who he was. As Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen were advancing their arguments about the serial organisation of sound, Roger Sessions, in 1953, two years after Schoenberg's death, was getting hip to dodecaphony by implanting 12-note procedures inside his unaccompanied Sonata for Violin. But here's the rub--the resulting piece actually sounds less self-consciously 'modernist' than his 1942 Duo for violin and piano, which bumps together influences from Ives, Hindemith and Stravinsky but ends up sounding like proto-Elliott Carter. Sessions's Duo and Sonata for Violin are the centrepieces of this immaculately recorded and intrepidly played disc documenting all his chamber music for violin with, as a bonus, a ferociously dynamic performance of his gnarly, brawny Second Piano Sonata (1946) and a couple of piano miniatures. …

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