Brahms: Viola Works

Brahms: Viola Works

by Steven Dann
     
 

Whether the two Brahms sonatas of Op. 120 (his last chamber works) are best suited for clarinet or viola is largely a matter of personal preference. But the choice that Brahms gives us between these two instruments is likely because of their equal potential for a satin, mellifluous sound. Unfortunately, this is where violist Steven DannSee more details below

Overview

Whether the two Brahms sonatas of Op. 120 (his last chamber works) are best suited for clarinet or viola is largely a matter of personal preference. But the choice that Brahms gives us between these two instruments is likely because of their equal potential for a satin, mellifluous sound. Unfortunately, this is where violist Steven Dann sometimes falls short of the ideal sound quality for these two sonatas. In the lower register of his instrument, Dann achieves a beautiful, throaty sound, especially well-suited for the first theme of the F minor sonata. However, there is a big change in timbre when a melody crosses over to the A-string, where the sound is sometimes too strident. Intonation is generally good except for the typical pitfall of the double stops before the recapitulation in F minor first movement. Pianist Lambert Orkis provides a generally pleasing backdrop, although some of his softer accompanimental figures aren't as clear as they could be. In contrast, the two songs of Op. 91 are completely enjoyable. All of the best qualities of Dann's playing are highlighted much more here. His dark sound in the lower registers brilliantly matches with mezzo-soprano Susan Platts. The trio provides listeners with an extremely enjoyable, unified, and evocative performance. Even if the viola is not your first choice for Op. 120, this recording is worthwhile for the Op. 91.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2006
Label:
Atma Classique
UPC:
0722056235020
catalogNumber:
22350
Rank:
324724

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Sonata for Clarinet (or viola) & Piano No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1  - Johannes Brahms  - Steven Dann  - Lambert Orkis  - Diane Lagacé
  2. Sonata for Clarinet (or viola) & Piano No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2  - Johannes Brahms  - Steven Dann  - Lambert Orkis  - Diane Lagacé
  3. Songs (2) for alto, viola & piano, Op. 91  - Johannes Brahms  - Steven Dann  - Lambert Orkis  - Friedrich Rückert  - Emanuel Geibel  - Diane Lagacé  - Susan Platts

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