Along with his friend Caruso, Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) was one of the superstars of the early gramophone era. He was “the master musician among the violinists of the day” (New York Times); he died 50 years ago (29 January 1962). As a composer, he is famous for his Viennese-style melodies, such as Liebesfreud and Liebesleid, for his notorious pieces “in the style of” various 18th-century masters (which he passed off as their original works, claiming to have rediscovered them in old manuscripts), and for his arrangements of well-known works by other composers.
Vadim Repin suggests in the booklet’s notes that he and Nikolai Lugansky chose a program for their first studio recording together that mimics a recital in this case, that would be a sonata recital. This sonata the introductory passage, Lento doloroso , of Edvard Grieg’s Second Sonata displays in the duo’s performance a haunting poignancy that their energetic reading of the movement proper hardly dispels.
This three-CD set showcases Beethoven's most famous Violin Sonatas in multiple performances by some of the 20th century's greatest violin/piano duos. A virtual master class in Golden Age interpretation, this collection features three performances of the "Spring" Sonata and four of the "Kreutzer" Sonata, ranging from Georg Kulenkampff and Wilhelm Kempff's "Kreutzer" in 1935 to Nathan Milstein and Arthur Balsam's "Spring" in 1950. The set also includes the celebrated 1940 "Kreutzer" performance at the Library of Congress by Joseph Szigeti and Bela Bartók. To recapture the magic of these performances for a new century, rare, pristine 78s were transferred and 24-bit digitally remastered using the state-of-the-art CAP 440 technique.
Metamorphosis - for me - has always been a concept taken from the script of a film noir and occasionally translated into real life - or culled from a Hitchcock movie or from Alice in Wonderland. From a purely aesthetic (and artistic) point of view I have been especially interested in two things - creating the "inexistent" and transforming "worlds", and also in consolidating what is invisible to the human eye, or what is inaudible to the human ear.