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Works for Violin & Piano Hybrid SACD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Avanti
  • ASIN: B000G5SIP8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 907,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 May 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most ravishing of violin discs, the combination of Dora Schwarzberg's emotive line and the incredible palette of Martha Argerich breathing new life into these fantastic pieces. The Franck is one of the best versions I have ever heard, in fact I would never want to be without it. Argerich has recorded the piece many times but here she really pulls something out of the bag, and draws out a range of colour that is highly impressionist, with some fully-plumbed bass notes that sound as if the key has been depressed about two inches; on the other hand there is much delicacy in the playing and it often surprises you in the best possible way. It is one of those pieces that needs to be interpreted like this to get past the sense of familiarity one has with the music, and here is can safely be said that it is a completely new listening experience. The Debussy is equally sharply etched, benefiting from a range of colour and nuance from both players, as well as the sense that they are perfectly attuned. The sense of a partnership is very present. Argerich has recorded very little Debussy, making it particularly precious; you wonder how she would sound in the Preludes. The Schumann is more her obvious element, and here one finds that sense of the piano transcending its limitations as a percussion instrument and being about a constant rise and fall of sonority, a continuous blending and moulding of the sound. The Fantasiestucke op. 73 are great pieces and amount to a three movement work of the same length as the Debussy. The cover painting by George Condo is directly inspired by hearing the music and looks like a mural by Dubuffet. It is quite stimulating as well and stamps the recording as a product of now, nodding to graffiti and comic art, and is reproduced in various sections of the packaging - altogether wonderful ... the artist photos as well ...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x92a36750) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9275e1b4) out of 5 stars Product description : 28 July 2006
By Vaucaire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
with this record, legendary russian violonist Dora Schwarzberg and world renowned argentinean pianist Martha Argerich celebrate their unique friendship.

For years both artists have performed throughout the world together, having annual musical encounters whether on tour or at Martha's festival in Lugano. this is the first time, however, that they have entered the studio together.

The recording, of the sonatas by Franck and Debussy and the Fantasiestücke of Schumann, took place in Brussels in December 2005. The artists' musical understanding is unique and this recording may come as a surprise for many listeners. Their approach is always inspired but also deeply personal and the result will, undoubtedly, constitute a new benchmark in the history of the three works. both artists gave much of themselves in order to ensure that this recording is a unique musical highlight with no comparison, and they are extremely proud of the result.

Furthermore, this is only the second time that Martha Argerich has been recorded in 5.1 surround sound for SACD (by multi-award winner recording engineer Hugues Deschaux) and it is her first studio recording for a non-major label.

The cover for this album is 'Internal Space' by the celebrated american artist George Condo, inspired by the performances on this recording.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9240003c) out of 5 stars To The Depths of Passion 16 April 2010
By ClassicalMusicLover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First of all, I did verify that the person who reviewed this SACD on July 28, 2006, Frederic Grun, is actually the producer of this SACD just as the commenter under that review indicted. Amazon should not allow producers to review their own CDs. Now here is my unbiased review:

The Franck and Debussy are some of my favorite pieces and I've never heard them played with such depth of passion, subtle nuances, and beautiful phrasing as these two superb artists have given us here. When listening to these pieces one gets the feeling that these artist are speaking directly to our hearts from experience that only comes with years of living and maturity. At one point it sounds as if Ms. Schwarzberg is imitating the human voice and Ms. Argerich's famous tension and flare for the dramatic in full bloom. The recording quality is good, but with a few drawbacks, those being that this was recorded in a small studio which was acoustically dead (no ambiance, no reverberation or air around the instruments), so the 5.0 surround sounds adds very little to the quality of this recording. I don't care if engineer, Hugues Deschaux, has won awards before, he should NOT win one for this recording! Why a recording engineer and producer would choose a small studio as a recording venue for classical music is beyond my comprehension. They should have used a small church or hall especially for this atmospheric music. Also, the violin volume is just a little too low compared to the piano volume. And lastly, one very small note, the violin and piano switch sides left for right going from the Debussy to the Schumann piece. However, the over all results are still beautiful in 5.0 surround sound with a piano sound that has a rich deep bass. Dora Schwarzberg and Martha Argerich have given us a Franck, Debussy, and Schumann for the history books. A "must have" in my opinion.
I give the performance 5 stars, the recording 3 stars, for an overall rating 4 stars.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92764a98) out of 5 stars **** 1/2 A fine collaboration, with Argerich providing the most fascination 11 Jun. 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a rare disc since it features Martha Argerich on a minor label instead of a major. Made in 2005, it can't help but be seen as a recording of sonatas for piano and violin, given her dominance and reputation. the violinist, Dora Schwarzberg, belongs to Argerich's inner circle of chamber music partners, and she's very fine. Trained in Moscow and now a prominent professor at the Vienna Academy -- apparently their version of Dorothy De Lay -- Schwarzberg has a beautiful tone in the dark Russian style. She is miked very closely but can withstand the scrutiny. (A colorful fact is that she was born backstage in a Jewish theater in Odessa where her mother worked as a musician.) I can't readily find a birth date for Scwarzberg, but at the time of this recording she appears to be in her sixties like Argerich.

the playing in both the Franck and Debussy sonatas is of world-class quality, and Argerich doesn't disappoint in her familiar traits of passion, strong attack, and spontaneity. the balance of power naturally shifts to her; Schwarzberg would have to be Oistrakh reborn to really equal her. However, when the piano is asked to stand behind the violin, Argerich offers refined support, not exactly modest but not drawing attention to herself, either. In the Franck I wish that the interpretation weren't so understated at the outset. There is impossible competition in this staple work, including from Oistrakh and Richter. Argerich herself has a version on EMI with Perlman that is more vital, and good as the present version is, I preferred Vadim Repin and Nikolai Lugansky in their recent recital on DG.

In the Debussy Argerich is impeccable --- this is an interesting listen since she has done so little solo Debussy on disc (one discography lists only a live Estampes from Vienna in 1969). This sonata, part of a series for solo instruments written at the end of the composer's life and deliberately simplified in harmony and melody compared to Debussy's most advanced music, also has considerable rivalry on disc. Schwarzberg doesn't try to sound particularly French or Debussyan, which has to be taken into account. Some listeners might find the lack of local color as misplaced as leaving the jazziness out of Gershwin. I must confess that I was only compelled by the pianist, and yet Schwarzberg is never less than excellent. You don't get picked by Argerich without being an exceptional musician.

The program ends with Argerich's favorite composer, Schumann, in three late Fantasistucke Op. 73. I know that Argerich has made it a steady campaign to revive late, neglected Schumann, but this msuic sounds uninspired to me, rambling and discursive as so much of Schumann became as his mental state deteriorated. the performance is committed and sympathetic.

This disc is far from a must-listen, but given Argerich's unique position in the music world, anyone who is enthusiastic about her will find pleasure here. The hybrid SACD sound is up to scratch, although it isn't kind of the violin when Schwarzberg plays at forte and above.

P.S. -- The abstract painting on the cover, by New York artist George Condo, was inspired by the recorded performance, we are told. It's a nice idea, but the result was an unfortunate, uncommercial cover.
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