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Posted August 1, 2011
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. Ensconced in the south of France and in need of financial support for his extended emigre family, Stravinsky elected to embark upon an ambitious tour as one half of a violin and piano duo. His colleague, the Polish-American violinist, Samuel Dushkin had the imperious composer's complete confidence and respect. At the time (the 1930's), Stravinsky was in his early fifties, Dushkin in his early forties. Looking for suitable repetoire for their tour, it was decided to concentrate upon material drawn from sundry works of the composer. Dushkin's mastery and profound understanding of his instrument's capabilities were fundamental to the success of these transcriptions, hence the dual credit. In addition this warm collaboration produced one new work, the Duo concertant, widely regarded as one of Stravinsky's masterpieces. Newton Classics has done collectors a real service by reissuing a 2 disc set featuring violinist, Isabelle van Keulen and pianist, Olli Mustonen. Billed as the "Complete works for violin and piano", this set also includes one transcription, (Tango) by Mustonen as well as some intriguing odds and ends. At the time of these sessions, (1987-8), both van Keulen and Mustonen were in their early twenties. Throughout this collection, the performers' youthful vigor is exceeded only by their technical prowess and interpretive insights. Originally recorded in Switzerland by Philips, the tight soundstage is ideal. The liner notes make excellent reading. Recommended without reservation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.