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Duo Gazzana

Tonu Korvits / Robert Schumann / Edvard Grieg

Release Date: October 14, 2022

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1 Kõrvits: Stalker Suite / I. Into the Zone  
2 II. The Room  
3 III. Monologue  
4 IV. Waterfall  
5 Schumann: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105 / I. Mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck  
6 II. Allegretto  
7 III. Lebhaft  
8 Kõrvits: Notturni / I.  
9 II.  
10 III.  
11 iV.  
12 Grieg: Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45 / I. Allegro molto ed appassionato  
13 II. Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza  
14 III. Allegro animato  
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Prior recordings by Duo Gazzana have seen the Italian sisters garner much praise and critical acclaim for their “imaginative playing, and willingness to color outside the customary lines” (Fanfare). The BBC Music Magazine called their interpretation of César Franck’s Violin Sonata “a masterclass”, and the German Spiegel magazine considers them “one of the most interesting new chamber duos, (…) capable of successfully linking seemingly disparate artists like Ligeti, Ravel and Messiaen with conviction.” In a continued balancing act of combining inventive contemporary works with traditional classical repertoire on ECM New Series, this time the duo of Italian sisters Gazzana ventures back to the 19th century for impassioned interpretations of Robert Schumann’s Sonata op. 105 and Edvard Grieg’s Sonata op. 45. Premiere recordings of Estonian composer Tõnu Kõrvits’s Stalker Suite and notturni, each in four movements, make up the contemporary part of the programme.

Shortly after becoming musical director of the orchestra in Düsseldorf in 1850, Robert Schumann’s mental health started to decline and it is in this period that he wrote his final violin works, including the Violin Sonata No.1 in A minor, from 1851. Like many of his later works, this piece is characterized by a particularly dense thematic concentration. The first movement’s darkly surging main theme, coloured by the sonority of the violin’s rich, husky G string, is one of the composer’s most memorable inventions. Natascia and Raffaella Gazzana connect with the piece on a deeply committed level, making the canonic element of the first movement, ‘Mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck’, resonate with special expressiveness. The Allegretto in Rondo form is a brisk intermezzo giving way to the third movement, ‘Lebhaft’, which brings back the canonic structures, calling on some of the duo’s most fervent playing.

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