David Nadien = FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A Major; DEBUSSY: Violin Sonata; FAURE: Berceuse; RACHMANINOFF: Daisies; PROKOFIEFF: Sonata for Two Violins – David Nadien & Ruggiero Ricci, violins (Prokofieff)/David Hancock, p./ Abba Bogin, p. – Cembal d'amour

by | Jun 20, 2010 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

David Nadien = FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A Major; DEBUSSY: Violin Sonata in G Minor; FAURE: Berceuse; RACHMANINOFF: Daisies (arr. Heifetz); PROKOFIEFF: Sonata for Two Violins, Op. 56 – David Nadien, violin/ Ruggiero Ricci, violin (Prokofieff)/David Hancock, piano/ Abba Bogin, piano (Rachmaninoff)

Cembal d’amour CD 151, 54:51 [Distr. by Qualiton] ****:

Recital materials 1968-1970 grace this fine disc, another Cembal d’amour tribute to the living legend of the violin, David Nadien (b. 1926). A chaste and refined Franck Sonata (from New York, 1968) opens the program, Nadien’s lean tone and fine lines every way indicative of a Heifetz influence. Particularly attentive to Franck’s markings, Nadien avoids slurs where they are not indicated (in forte passages), and so adds a sense of economy to the often chromatic motivic kernels that Franck recycles at every opportunity. On the other hand, Nadien does not completely eschew portamento as a means of more dramatic inflection besides a fast vibrato. The Allegro second movement gains a potent momentum in the course of its passionate exposition. The amorphous third movement, Recitativo-Fantasia, approaches the sensibility of a Bach sarabande at first; then, as the piano reintroduces the theme of the first movement, the two instruments weave a sensuous tapestry that accumulates dynamic power and haunted intimacy at once. One can almost smell the incense burning as the melodic tissue extends over liquid arpeggios from Hancock’s keyboard. The lovely canon that forms the last movement, Allegretto poco mosso, frames both Nadien and Hancock in lovely symmetries–always dolce cantabile as directed–even when the music bursts forth in hints of Wagnerian ecstasies.

Debussy’s 1917 Violin Sonata is the third of a projected six sonatas he intended to compose as a lasting contribution to French chamber music. Nadien (from New York, 1968) applies an ephemeral veil of sound to the music’s languorous chromatics, a world close to Paul Gauguin and Gustav Moreau. The shifting meters of the opening Allegro vivo no less contribute to the other-worldly affect of this haunted piece. The Intermede is marked “Fantasque et leger,” in order to accentuate its capricious character, a serenade interrupted, as its piano prelude counterpart. The sensuality of the figures becomes a musical equivalent of the work of Pierre Louys. The choppy starts and stops eventually collapse, morendo, dying away to some exotic dreamland. The Finale concisely compresses the entire sonata before, moving in triple meter but utilizing hemiola to shift the metric pulse and intensify a passion that the Nadien expresses in double-stopped or triple-stopped chords over a huge range in both hands of the keyboard.

The Gallic aspect of the program concludes (from New York, 1968) with the fluent 1879 Berceuse, Op. 16 of Gabriel Faure. A lovely vocal piece in D Major, the serenade allows Nadien to shine in quiet majesty and impeccable taste. Another exquisite miniature, Rachmaninoff’s Daisies (from Mohawk Trails, MA, 1970), pairs Nadien with Abba Bogin, in long-lined harmony straight out of the Heifetz tradition, especially as the song is arranged by that virtuoso.

The last musical offering is Prokofieff’s 1932 Sonata for 2 Violins in C Major. Nadien’s older colleague Ruggiero Ricci (b. 1918) joins Nadien from New York, 1970. Both classical chastity and gypsy effusion mark the four movements, especially as the Bach of the opening movement Andante cantabile is followed by a severe and wicked dance, Allegro, the second movement. Prokofieff uses moments of canon to effect visceral tension between the two instruments, offsetting in their dynamic acerbity, any sense of a “baroque” temperament. The Commodo movement has that fairy-tale innocence and exalted lyricism of Prokofieff’s best ballets. The final Allegro con brio does revert to a baroque image, albeit colored by something like Stravinsky’s modern syntax in Pulcinella.  Nadien and Ricci effect wonderful counterpoint, busy and febrile, in a display well worth the collector’s price of admission.

–Gary Lemco

Related Reviews
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01
Logo Pure Pleasure