Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano (four CD set)
Live explorations of Beethoven's ten youthful masterpieces on gorgeous period instruments. Beautifully engineered, unedited complete takes.
This recording was conceived and made possible by a long-time friend of the Frederick Piano Collection. We are deeply grateful for his support. Our anonymous benefactor suggested that we use complete, unedited takes of each movement, and we decided to take the challenge in a spirit of exploration! Live performances inevitably include both revelations and infelicities. The challenge of recording without editing shifted our priorities from technical correctness to inspiration and flow (or, as one friend put it, exuberance and reckless abandon), encouraging us to emulate Beethoven’s disdain for punctilio and his trust in the creative spirit.
You may listen to previews of all 33 tracks at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/orfeoduo
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We hope you enjoy!
Spiriti Infernali, first and second movements
for Violin and Piano by David Loeb
This CD gathers together five lyrical and witty pieces David Loeb has
written for us, including two from earlier recordings and three now released
for the first time. The composer is a good friend, neighbor, and former
teacher of ours. He writes: "If I have arrived at an individual style
or means of expression, this has not occurred through any passionate search
for originality, but rather through intensive study of whatever music
seemed most interesting and moving, regardless of its period or country
of origin." This recording beautifully reflects his interests (in
Far Eastern and Renaissance music) and ours (in both of the above and
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Stroll Through Our Neighborhood
Mercies 1 by
by Elizabeth Adams, James Blachly, Sister Élise, Kate Ettinger,
Mark Ettinger, Franklin Latner, Dana Maiben, and Ishmael Wallace
This CD, which is available for free at our concerts, features music almost
entirely by 113th Street composers! On it you will hear a lovely and exciting
bunch of sounds from a lovely and exciting bunch of people, ranging in
age from 16 to 86. The CD includes several exceptionally beautiful songs
recorded live at our “What a Neighborhood!” concerts. The
performers in addition to the Orfeo Duo are Mary Ellen Callahan and Beth
Anne Hatton, sopranos, James Blachly, contrabass, and Elizabeth Adams,
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Music of George Enesco
Sonata no. 3, last movement
Sonata Torso, Sonata no. 3 in the popular Romanian style, Impressions
d'enfance, and two previously unrecorded works, the "Piece sur le
nom de Faure" and "Aubade". The music is influenced by
French Impressionism and saturated with Romanian gypsy music. "Having
cherished Enesco’s own 1943 recording of his 3rd violin sonata with
Dinu Lipatti, it is a pleasure to renew its acquaintance in a splendid
modern recording by a young brother and sister duo, who have researched
the oeuvre thoroughly and demonstrate, by playing everything from memory,
their close rapport and complete assimilation of George Enesco’s
Classical Net Review, 2002
"The Orfeo Duo delivers magnificent performances of five Enesco scores,
several of them never before recorded. Romanticism and modernism, gypsy
fiddling and classical techniques converge in moody meanderings, full
of voluptuous melodies and harmonic volatility. Violinist Vita Wallace
and her brother, pianist
Ishmael Wallace, have played together since childhood, and it shows: this
kind of rapport is rare indeed."
Sarah Cahill, Classics Today, 2000
Marquis Classics, 1999.
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Ancient Times and Places: Ishmael's solo CD of music by David Loeb
Lento, poco allegro
(from Fantasias on East Asian Modes)
is delighted to announce the release of his first solo CD, From Ancient
Times and Places, made up of beautiful, evocative works by David Loeb,
with whom he studied composition. David writes: "The album title
reflects the fact that all four compositions draw upon musical or artistic
traditions, distant both temporally and geographically. Ishmael Wallace
seems a singularly appropriate choice for this collaboration; we share
'antiquarian' interests, and as a composer himself he brings compositional
insights to his interpretations. Most of the pieces: Edo Revisited, The
Twilight Bell, and some of the Fantasias on East Asian Modes, were composed
for him. He has performed all of these pieces, some quite often."
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Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Robert Schumann.
Sonata no. 2, last movementUnacorda,
performances are daring and fresh. Vita plays without the constant
vibrato that riled great 19th-century violinists like Joachim, only
to become the norm in the mid-20th century. In the slow movement
of the D-Minor Sonata, for instance, she plays the theme with a
halting, hauntingly pale sound, instead of the usual schmaltz. She
also uses portamento sliding from one note to another that went
out of fashion in the 20th century frequently but tastefully. The
Streicher's sweetly singing tone and noble bass strip away the aggressiveness
that so often makes Schumann problematic on modern pianos. Though
one might wish for more emotional vulnerability in the playing,
these are performers I would pay good money to hear."
recording features these all too rarely heard Schumann gems played on
period instruments…. In both the yearning melodies of the first
sonata and the more austere, yet masterful second and third sonatas, Ms.
Wallace gives sumptuous, gleaming performances…. Ishmael Wallace
(a pupil of Richard Goode) plays with illuminating artistry and bracing
fervor. A great recording!"
Lawrence Budmen, Coral Gables Gazette, 2004
"On this new release, the sister-brother duo of Vita Wallace and
Ishmael Wallace present Robert Schumann's three sonatas for violin and
piano on a gut-strung violin and a lovely 1846 piano built by the renowned
Viennese firm Streicher. It's still rare to hear this repertoire played
on period instruments --this claims to be the first such recording of
the Sonata No.3.
Tamara Bernstein © Copyright 2003 National Post
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a new CD featuring the Orfeo Duo with Beth Anne Hatton, the Brentano Quartet,
Tom Sauer and others.
are very happy this new collection of pieces by our friend Eric Qin (1967-1993)
is now available. Those of you who know our recording of his "Music in
Indigo" on "So Various, So Beautiful, So New" may be surprised by the
poignant "Poems from the Japanese" which Vita plays with soprano Beth
Anne Hatton on this CD. The recording also includes the track "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz,"
played and sung by Ishmael and Beth, in which Eric completely rethought
what vocal music could be like.
Tzadik, 2002. Available at www.tzadik.com under the Composer Series, #7081
by Bruno Walter and Hans Pfitzner
CD contains the world premiere recording of the Bruno Walter Sonata and
the first recording on CD of the Pfitzner.
"...sister and brother partnership Vita and Ishmael Wallace have seized
upon two charming yet rarely heard violin sonatas, both artful pieces
of late Romanticism. The sonatas are undoubtedly buoyed up by the excellent
performances they receive. Violinist Vita Wallace is adept at contrasting
expressive opulence with a bleaker, more wistful tone, while Ishmael Wallace
achieves well-crafted and transparent textures, and the eminent sensitivity
of both players underlines the subtleties of these enjoyable chamber works."
BBC Music Magazine, 1998
Orfeo Duo is a young brother and sister duo. They understand this music
well, and the violin sound is just beautiful." Record Geijutsu, Japan,
enlightening and gracefully written program annotations [by Erik Ryding]
point out that some of Bruno Walter's songs have been recorded before.
Still most music lovers probably didn't know this great conductor composed
at all. I had never heard any of his music until now. It is fascinating.
The performance [is] impassioned and deeply involving....This is a strangely
moving performance of a strangely captivating piece." American Record
Sonatas by Bruno Walter and Hans Pfitzner. VAI Audio, VAIA 1155, 1998.
www.vaimusic.com (search for Walter) code 1155 Chamber Music, February
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