Primrose: Viola Transcriptions

Primrose: Viola Transcriptions

5.0 1
by Roberto Díaz
     
 

One of the central performers in the history of the viola, William Primrose elevated his instrument to new heights in the 20th century, not only through the excellence of his own musicianship but also by helping to bring into existence a repertoire for the solo viola. Besides new works that were written for him, Primrose indulged in the age-old strategy of borrowing… See more details below

Overview

One of the central performers in the history of the viola, William Primrose elevated his instrument to new heights in the 20th century, not only through the excellence of his own musicianship but also by helping to bring into existence a repertoire for the solo viola. Besides new works that were written for him, Primrose indulged in the age-old strategy of borrowing and arranging; works originally for cello, violin, and voice were all fair game for the transcriber's pen. This recital by Roberto Díaz -- formerly principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, currently president of the Curtis Institute -- pays homage to Primrose with a wide-ranging and hugely enjoyable program of those transcriptions. But there's also a deeper connection between the two musicians: Díaz now owns the Brothers Amati viola (c. 1600) that was once Primrose's primary instrument. The beauty of the instrument's tone, and of Díaz's technique, is immediately evident in the Borodin "Nocturne" that opens the program. Indeed, much of the recital seems chosen especially to highlight the viola's exquisitely dark hues, with the sustained lyrical melodies of Schubert ("Litany for All Soul's Day"), Wagner ("Träme" from the Wesendonck-Lieder), Tchaikovsky ("None but the Lonely Heart"), and Villa-Lobos (the Aria from the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5) forming a warmly romantic thread throughout the album. Besides the Villa-Lobos work, Primrose was attracted to other Latin American pieces by Julian Aguirre and Edgar Daniele del Valle, which contribute a variety of new colors and rhythms to the violist's palette, while sheer technical dexterity goes on display in Paganini's virtuosic "La Campanella." No matter what the musical material, Díaz's performances show that he not only possesses Primrose's viola but also the eloquent and charismatic way with interpretation that made Primrose a master of the instrument.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
When not at his day job as president and CEO of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Roberto Diaz is a violist of international reputation. He has an international reputation because, as this recital shows, Diaz is also a violist with impeccable taste and a prodigious technique. In 12 transcriptions by English viola virtuoso William Primrose, Diaz is never less than consummately refined and never less than essentially flawless. His tone is superbly molded, his phrasing is superbly sculpted, and his intonation is right on the sweet spot. In performance after performance on the 2004 recording, Diaz is consistently impressive, from the polished sensuality of the "Nocturne" from Borodin's "Second String Quartet" through the incandescent pyrotechnics of the "La Campanella" from Paganini's "Second Violin Concerto" to the distilled longing of "None but the lonely heart" by Tchaikovsky. It often happens that a recital of transcriptions can be too much for straight-through listening, but Diaz's not only can this recital stand a straight-through listening, it demands encores of favorite tracks. How about cuing that ethereal performance of the Adagietto from Bizet's "L'Arl�sienne Suite No. 1" again, Mr. DJ? Recorded in the CBC's Glenn Gould Studios in Toronto, Naxos' sound is warmer than usual with a real sense of air around the instruments.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313239122
catalogNumber:
8557391
Rank:
391026

Tracks

  1. Nocturne for string orchestra (arranged by Malcolm Sargent from String Quartet No. 2)  - Alexander Borodin  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  2. Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen ("Ruh'n in Frieden alle Seelen"), song for voice & piano, D. 343  - Franz Schubert  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  3. Notturno for viola & piano in D major (after the String Trio, Op. 8), Op. 42: Marcia - Allegro  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  4. Notturno for viola & piano in D major (after the String Trio, Op. 8), Op. 42: Adagio  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  5. Notturno for viola & piano in D major (after the String Trio, Op. 8), Op. 42: Allegretto alla polacca  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  6. Wesendonk Lieder, songs (5) for voice & piano (or orchestra), WWV 91: Träume: Lento  - Richard Wagner  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  7. Huella, canción argentina for piano, Op. 49  - Julián Aguirre  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  8. Ao Pé Da Fogueira  - Flausino Vale  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  9. Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor ("La campanella"), Op. 7, MS 48: La Campanella  - Niccolò Paganini  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  10. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, for voice & 8 cellos, A. 389: Aria (Cantilena): Adagio  - Heitor Villa-Lobos  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  11. L' Arlésienne, suite for orchestra No. 1, from the incidental music: Adagietto  - Georges Bizet  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  12. Sarasateana for viola & piano  - Efrem Zimbalist  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  13. None but the lonely heart, song for voice & piano, Op. 6/6  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig
  14. Wie Melodien zeiht es mir leise durch den Sinn, song for voice & piano, Op. 105/1  - Johannes Brahms  - Roberto Díaz  - Robert Koenig

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