Original german version: http://www.incoda.de/listener/reviews/502/janacek-prokoffjew-poulenc-violinsonaten
Who dares nowadays, in the noble realms of classical music, to refer to a composition as "entertaining"- at best earns a lopsided sneer. Yes, an operette may be entertaining, perhaps a piece of film music or something of these sorts...
Perhaps it is due to this world view, that the classical genre of the 20th century misses a public. Wait a minute, the classcal music of the 20th century? Did we not just mention the operette? Where is the connecting element here?
As simple as that: Three works on the here presented Gramola- CD are entertaining pieces in the best sense of the word. And here we don't even mention that contentualy they draw a wide bow- from the dark premonition of war to the coquette style of the "Les Six" group.
With the sonatas by Janáček, Prokoffjew and Poulenc, the duo Louise Chisson (violin) and Tamara Atschba (piano) present the ultimately best contributions of violin sonatas to the 20th century repertoire and place them side by side. The two artists manage to demonstrate in a remarkable manner how wonderfully entertaining the quality of these works can be.
I'm delighted! Louise Chisson is an exceptionally gifted violinist with a highly individual sound, that ranges from the tenderest of all pianissimos to a rough-expressive sound and convinces with a diversity that we were used to hear from the great ones in the past. Indeed, I must admit that, astonishingly her style does remind highly of the art of David Oistrakh. Could there be a greater compliment? Tamara Atschba excites with a soft and equally precise touch, a remarkable virtuosity. And very importantly: both possess the necessary rhythmical "drive" for these tricky works.
How perfectly they are adjusted to one another is best heard in the glorious sonata of Janacek, in the third and fourth movements. Every rhytmical challenge that he presents to the interpreter is mastered with an apparent ease by Chisson and Atschba. And still, their interpretation bristles up with individuality and emotional power. This recording is not a hint worse than that of Christina Astrand and Per Salo that I chose as a reference for last years the-listener.de.
The phenomenal quality of performance continues in Prokoffjews first violin sonata,where Chisson and Atschba succeed to reveal the scores' biting humour as well as it's lyrical power. Their Poulenc is played so ravishingly modern and in style that it's a marvel. The french composer rises from their hands not as the parisian boulevard-artiste that he is often diminished to be. Chisson and Atschba see him as a great master of the 20th century and give his sonata the same expressivity as ealier Janáček and Prokoffjew, whereas the lyrical, "sexy" bits are not neglected along the mysterious sway between intellect and passion of the piece. Poulencs stylistic ambivalence is thereby elucidated.
I have to say it again: I'm completely excited and can hardly believe, that this indeed is the debut CD of the two artists! You hear two in a young age already accomplished artistic personalities, who not only master every technical challenge with ease but provide so much personality as I very rarely heard in the recent years.
This duo is in my eyes not less than a sensation! The spatial, yet present and natural sound of this brilliant record makes it a top recommendation of this years spring program. It remains to be hoped, that the Gramola people know what they have with these exceptional artists. More of it, please!!!
Rainer Aschemeier - The Listener
Poulenc - Sonate pour violon. Sonate pour violoncelle.
On doit la sonate pour violon à l’insistance de Ginette Neveu - qui en eut la primeur en 1943 - et celle pour violoncelle à I'admiration vouée à Pierre Fournier, dédicataire et créateur en 1949. Elles ont trouvé de jeunes ambassadeurs de charme : Louise Chisson pour la première (Gramola), Jean-Guihen Queyras pour la seconde (HM).
- Nicolas Southon / François Laurent - Diapason - Novembre 2013
The resolute performances on this release are compelling and communicate a wide range of often intense emotions..Pianist Tamara Atschba and first violin Louise Chisson play beautifully and display with real insight...Both the Koechlin Violin Sonata and Vierne’s masterwork the Piano Quintet are certainly worth getting to know especially in these excellent performances.
Soloist Tamara Atschba with unerring sensitivity plays a selection of five Préludes from the Op. 36 set.This new account on Gramola is quite outstanding and I now consider it my first choice recording.
Michael Cookson - MusicWeb International
Radiantly inspired,and beguilingly engineered,performances,wich bring this unjustly neglected scores to life. Notably sensitive piano playing from Tamara Atschba.
Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine
L'une des œuvres majeures de Koechlin en musique de chambre, et sur le versant opposé du Quintette avec piano : du côté de la lumière. Très belle version, avec des attaques de violon fine. De plus, l'interprétation de Tamara Atschba, sobre et détaillée, correspond à merveille
à cet univers : ni pathos, ni recherche de beauté extérieure, ni sècheresse, une forme d'équilibre très adroit et touchant.
Il en va de même pour le Quintette avec piano dont une piètre expérience en salle avait fini par me détourner.
Très beau disque (couplage avec la Sonate de Koechlin), recommandé. Encore un beau succès pour Gramola qui parie décidément avec clairvoyance sur la jeunesse !..
Quelle musique lumineuse, et quelle sensibilité de la part des interprètes!
Carnets sur sol
This is a contemplative and very beautiful sonata, gorgeously performed by Louise Chisson and Tamara Atschba.
Resplendently recorded and engagingly performed, this disc contains music that is reflective and deeply felt. It’s a beautiful remembrance of those lost in World WarI.
Robert Moon, Audiophile Audition