Magazine article Gramophone

'Kaleidoscope'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Kaleidoscope'

Article excerpt

'Kaleidoscope'

Albeniz Cantos de Espana, Op 232--Asturias, leyenda JS Bach Solo Violin Partita No 2, BWV1004--Chaconne Honegger Solo Violin Sonata Khachaturian Sonata-Monologue Tiet Metal Terre Eau Ysaye Solo Violin Sonata, 'Ballade', Op 27 No 3

Eisa Grether vn

Fuga Libera (F) FUG742 (66' * DDD)

The French violinist Eisa Grether isn't such a well-known name in the UK, but her recording of Bloch's two violin sonatas was enthusiastically received in these pages by Edward Greenfield (9/13). I'm about to continue in that enthusiastic vein here.

Grether's expressed aim with 'Kaleidoscope' is to help the listener 'discover all the possibilities of the violin and its expressive palette over space, time and aesthetics'--a mission statement that immediately raises the bar to a level only the bravest artists would set themselves, but one that Grether clears comfortably throughout this technically superb, intonationally perfect recital.

Cleverly anchored around the tonal centre of D minor, her programme begins where, in a sense, it all began, with the Chaconne from Bach's D minor Partita. By turns keening and worshipping, Grether's is a sofdy pulsing, mellifluously flowing and immensely natural-sounding reading; sublimely voiced and projected as a seamless crescendo of thought and feeling. It spans a full range of articulation, too, whether she's spitting out sforzando chords underneath a legato melody or has dropped down into some frictionlessly rippling pianissimo pool.

As for where to go next, Grether chooses 1933 Vietnam, switching Bach's Lutheran cathedral of sound for the post-Webern, Eastern-flecked elemental spiritualism of Ton-That Tiet's Metal Terre Eau, a feast of eerie harmonics, glissandos, pizzicato and other effects, all of which she delivers with effortless conviction across the various alternations between crude energy and mystical weightlessness. …

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