Nikolai Roslavets: Violin Sonatas; Three Dances

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The world is discovering the vast corpus of music left behind by Ukrainian composer Nikolai Roslavets, formerly relegated to the status of a non-person by the former Soviet Union. Despite the spotty looking coverage indicated by the titles involved, Naxos'Roslavets: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 4 and 6 is a comprehensive survey of his violin and piano music as we know it. Roslavets' "Third" and "Fifth" violin sonatas are apparently nowhere to be found, and his "Second" survives in an incomplete score that is under editorial scrutiny and, according to these notes, is not yet available, even though violinist Mark Lubotsky recorded it in 1995. By adding the "Three Dances" of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The world is discovering the vast corpus of music left behind by Ukrainian composer Nikolai Roslavets, formerly relegated to the status of a non-person by the former Soviet Union. Despite the spotty looking coverage indicated by the titles involved, Naxos'Roslavets: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 4 and 6 is a comprehensive survey of his violin and piano music as we know it. Roslavets' "Third" and "Fifth" violin sonatas are apparently nowhere to be found, and his "Second" survives in an incomplete score that is under editorial scrutiny and, according to these notes, is not yet available, even though violinist Mark Lubotsky recorded it in 1995. By adding the "Three Dances" of 1924, young Ukrainian violinist Solomia Soroka and pianist Arthur Greene provide a good encore to this program and bring up the time of this Naxos disc close to 70 minutes. The best piece included is the earliest, Roslavets "Sonata No. 1." Dating from 1913, this sonata makes obvious what Roslavets gained from his preoccupation with the music of Alexander Scriabin and looks forward to the more advanced "synthetic chord" works upon which his reputation rests. The "Three Dances" date from 1924, just as Roslavets' work began to receive a great deal of governmental scrutiny owing to its bourgeois use of formalistic techniques. Bourgeois or not, these short pieces are very effective examples of his inventiveness, sounding uncannily like Arnold Schoenberg's earliest twelve-tone compositions in the first two dances and evoking a nose-thumbing, confrontational attitude in the last. "Sonata No. 4" 1920 is superficially similar to the first sonata, except that it is less memorable and compelling, and "Sonata No. 6" 1940 is strangely sweet and lyrical, though retains some vestige of the dark otherworldliness of the other two violin sonatas. It puts the question to reports that there is no musical value to be found in Roslavets' work after 1927. Soroka has well studied this music and imbues it with a degree of musical depth and warmth that it might not have had it been hastily prepared by a big name soloist primarily for purposes of recording. However, the sound of the violin is somewhat nasal, metallic, and is mixed a bit below the level of the piano, which does prove a barrier to fully enjoying both the music and these performances. Pianist Arthur Greene does a good job of getting Roslavets' challenging, unidiomatic piano parts underneath his fingers, although the piano he is using sounds like it has seen better days. It seems as though Naxos' recording is a little out-of-phase, as well, in addition to being somewhat shrill, but this should not serve as a deterrent to those who are devoted to the cause of Roslavets.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/29/2006
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313290321
  • Catalog Number: 8557903
  • Sales rank: 234,531

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sonata for violin and piano, No 6: First movement - Nikolai Roslavets & Solomia Soroka (14:03)
    Composed byNikolai Roslavets
  2. 2 Sonata for violin and piano, No 6: Second movement - Nikolai Roslavets & Solomia Soroka (5:58)
    Composed byNikolai Roslavets
  3. 3 Sonata for violin and piano, No 6: Third movement - Nikolai Roslavets & Solomia Soroka (8:44)
    Composed byNikolai Roslavets
  4. 4 Sonata for violin and piano, No 4 - Nikolai Roslavets & Solomia Soroka (15:33)
    Composed byNikolai Roslavets
  5. 5 Sonata for violin and piano, No 1 - Nikolai Roslavets & Solomia Soroka (16:16)
    Composed byNikolai Roslavets
  6. 6–8 Dances (3), for violin & piano - Nikolai Roslavets & Solomia Soroka (8:58)
    Composed byNikolai Roslavets
    1. 6Walzer (Lento ma sempre fantastico)
    2. 7Nocturne (Moderato assai)
    3. 8Mazurka (Risoluto)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Solomia Soroka Primary Artist
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