Magazine article Gramophone

Ives: 'Con Slugarocko'

Magazine article Gramophone

Ives: 'Con Slugarocko'

Article excerpt


'Con Slugarocko'

Violin Sonatas--No 1; No 2; No 3; No 4

Annabelle Berthome-Reynolds vn Dirk Herten pf

White (F) 2016 (79' * DDD)

The four violin sonatas that Charles Ives assembled between 1902 and 1915 have never been big hitters in the same league as his Concord Sonata or the perpetually undervalued First Piano Sonata. Ives wrote a selection of individual movements for violin and piano which were then grouped into four three-movement structures. If you're not careful, the four sonatas, when played back to back, can sound like a rambling digression threaded together with interchangeable material. And Annabelle Berthome-Reynolds and Dirk Herten needed to be more careful.

Their cause is not helped by a tinny, lifeless sound environment that too often allows the violin to be swamped by the piano (the suspicion that things were done on a shoestring is heightened by the lack of booklet-notes). There are at least three outstanding existing sets in the catalogue, ranging from Hilary Hahn and Valentina Lisitsa's set--consistently charming, if occasionally tipping towards raw sentiment --to the steely control of Gregory Fulkerson and Robert Shannon. …

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