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Hyperion Records

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The Violin Composition by Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926)
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67841
Recording details: March 2009
Jerusalem Music Centre, Israel
Produced by Eric Wen
Engineered by Zvi Hirshler
Release date: March 2012
Total duration: 10 minutes 37 seconds

'Shaham and Erez deliver outstandingly committed performances, revelling in the music's virtuosity, fantasy and heightened intensity of expression' (BBC Music Magazine)

Children's Suite
from Op 57 for piano solo

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1922 Achron moved to Berlin, where many of his works were finally published both by Jibneh and Universal Edition. This city, then the cultural capital of Europe, had also attracted many of his colleagues, including Rosovsky and Engel, before they emigrated to Palestine in 1924, and its cosmopolitan creative climate inspired Achron to evolve a more subtle approach to Jewish characteristics, akin to Bartók’s assimilation in his music of Magyar elements. This is evident in Achron’s Children’s Suite, Op 57, originally written for piano, and later arranged for clarinet, string quartet and piano. Eight of the original twenty pieces were adapted in 1934 by Jascha Heifetz for violin and piano. The set is significantly influenced by traditional cantillation modes, and also by French impressionism, each piece colourfully characterized, alternating fast and slow, and with delicate yet subtly chromatic accompaniments. Jumping with tongue out is a lively dance, contrasted by the plangent innocence of Sleep, my puppy and the pastoral imitations of Birdies, with its trills, darting motifs, repeated notes and shimmering tremolos. The March of Toys sets an ironic jaunty theme over a drone bass, while Mamma, tell a fairy tale resumes mellow lyricism with hints of pentatonic modality. The Top’s vibrant moto perpetuo texture provides a foil to the sustained orientalism of The Caravan, while Parade with presents crowns the set with Stravinskian piquancy and panache.

from notes by Malcolm Miller © 2012

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