Magazine article Gramophone

Sibelius: Danses Champetres

Magazine article Gramophone

Sibelius: Danses Champetres

Article excerpt

Sibelius

Danses champetres, Op 106. Four Pieces, Op 78. Five Pieces, Op 81. Sonatine, Op 80 Carlos Damas vn Anna Tomasik pf Etcetera (F) KTC1564 (53' * DDD)

These national stereotypes are nothing if not persistent. In direct contrast to the cool, tight, conscientious tone offered by Baiba Skride (Orfeo, 10/16) in Sibelius's Four Pieces, Op 78, the Portuguese violinist Carlos Damas comes at the works with a big, broad sound (especially down low), a prominent vibrato that infiltrates even the shortest of notes and more Catholic fervour than Lutheran sobriety in the 'Religioso'. I love the way Damas digs deep in the 'Rigaudon' so you hear his instrument rattle, but elsewhere the various noises off, squeaks, scrapes and breathing can become wearing.

As can Damas's consistently prominent, in-your-face tone. He sounds determined not to reflect the reticence and detachedness of the Sonatine's opening Lento--fine, but it seems less a point of interpretation and more Damas's general modus operandi. …

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