Bernstein, Ravel, Bartok: Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Bernstein, Ravel, Bartok: Sonatas for Violin and Piano


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Bernstein, Ravel, Bartok: Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Composers' student works may only offer the faintest hints of their later styles and the more characteristic works to come, but their fledgling efforts are still of considerable interest for providing insights into their formative influences. If Leonard Bernstein's extremely serious, contrapuntal "Sonata for violin and piano" (1939) strongly reminds one of Hindemith, or Maurice Ravel's sentimental, perfumed "Sonate posthume" (1897) of Fauré, or Béla Bartók's passionate "Sonata for violin and piano" (1903) of Brahms, then the listener may better appreciate that these composers never could have found their original and distinctive voices without first studying and emulating great models. However, the music on this 2004 release can be enjoyed without a comparative analysis of traits and styles, and violinist Reine-Brigitte Sulem and pianist Márta Gulyás infuse these early works with the same energy and intensity that they might devote to any mature masterpieces. In what seems the most prudent policy, Sulem and Gulyás take each piece on its own terms, play it accurately and idiomatically for its period, and avoid mannerisms that might seem too didactic; both understand that the influences in the music are obvious, so they do not need to be highlighted. Centaur's sound quality is fine.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/29/2005
Label: Centaur
UPC: 0044747270326
catalogNumber: 2703


  1. Sonata for violin & piano
  2. Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in A minor ("Posthumous")
  3. Sonata for violin & piano in E minor, BB 28, DD 72

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