FHR Archive

SHOSTAKOVICH: The Two Violin Sonatas & Rare Chamber Works – Sasha Rozhdestvensky, v., /Jeremy Menuhin & Mookie Lee-Menuhin p./ Ilona Domnich, sop./ Alexandra Sherman, mezzo – First Hand

SHOSTAKOVICH: The Two Violin Sonatas & Rare Chamber Works – Sasha Rozhdestvensky, v., /Jeremy Menuhin & Mookie Lee-Menuhin p./ Ilona Domnich, sop./ Alexandra Sherman, mezzo – First Hand

Outlasting the unfinished: Shostakovich’s First Sonata for Violin and Piano (1945) with rarely heard chamber arrangements. SHOSTAKOVICH: The Two Violin Sonatas & Rare Chamber Works – Sasha Rozhdestvensky, v., /Jeremy Menuhin & Mookie Lee-Menuhin p./ Ilona Domnich, sop./ Alexandra Sherman, mezzo – First Hand CD 37, K&A Productions, 69:46 (1/1/16) ****: Newly-discovered works from beloved composers are rare. Artists have the opportunity to approach them with unique lucidity, unhindered by recordings and editions. Convincing listeners that the works are of lasting value, however, can be challenging. The FHR release featuring Shostakovich’s Unfinished Violin Sonata is up to the task. All works on the album are performed exquisitely. The unfinished sonata reveals Shostakovich at his most expressive: searching melody juxtaposed with driving rhythm. To accept it as cohesive, the work must be programmed in a way that helps suspend belief in the need for expected structure and length (think Ives’ art songs). Instead of the unfinished following the complete sonata, as heard on the recording, a better choice would be to open with the unfinished and end with the complete. The unfinished deserves an attempt at unaffected listening. Surprisingly, in a situation of parallel universe recording releases, the FHR was not […]