Magazine article Gramophone

Schulhoff: String Sextet, Op 45

Magazine article Gramophone

Schulhoff: String Sextet, Op 45

Article excerpt

Schulhoff

String Sextet, Op 45. Violin Sonata No 2. Duo. Cinq Etudes de jazz Spectrum Concerts Berlin / Frank S Dodge Naxos (M) 8 573525 (68' * DDD)

Schulhoff

'Complete Music for Violin and Piano' Violin Sonatas(a)--No 1; No 2. Suite (a). Solo Violin Sonata Bruno Monteiro vn (a) Joao Paulo Santos pf Brilliant Classics (B) 95324 (77' * DDD)

Naxos provides a quality sampling from the creative prime of an extraordinarily gifted 20th-century Czech composer-pianist who died of tuberculosis in Wulzburg concentration camp in August 1942. Like his similarly ill-fated composer-compatriots Hans Krasa and Gideon Klein, Erwin Schulhoff, a prize-winning pupil of Debussy, Reger and Steinbach, at least lived long enough to develop a voice of his own. The String Sextet, Op 45 (1924), opens to a gritty, gnarled Allegro risoluto before a mysterious, gently pulsing Andante sets in and, beyond a Burlesca (rather like surreal Dvorak), the work closes to a darkly intense Molto adagio.

The Second Violin Sonata of 1927, superbly played here by Boris Brovtsyn and pianist Eldar Nebolsin, holds fast to a troubled mood that lightens somewhat in the beautifully crafted Duo for violin and cello (1925), where Schulhoff brings his skills to bear for a work full of nuanced expression (the lovely Andantino slow movement) and colourful rhythms. Brovtsyn is here joined by the cellist Jens Peter Maintz for another memorable performance that exploits and explores the music's every changing hue. …

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