Thursday, 9 January 2014

Tianwa Yang and the Final Sarasate Volume

The eighth and final CD of Naxos's traversal of all Sarasate's music for violin has now appeared and completes this excellent series in a fine fashion. Apart from one work (Sarasate's Souvenir de Faust de Gounod) all the pieces on this CD are arrangements by Sarasate. Though there is some evidence of barrel scraping – Sarasate's arrangements of Bach's Air on the G string, or Handel's “Largo” are hardly essential listening – well over an hour of the over 79 minutes of music here are well worth hearing, in particular Sarasate's Chopin arrangements (waltzes and nocturnes). Bravo Naxos, and bravo Pablo de Sarasate.

And a big bravo to Tianwa Yang, the violinist on all eight CDs. Sarasate's music, and his playing, were characterised by elegance and sophistication; Pablo was no barnstormer, as we can hear (distantly) from his playing on a few pieces of his own music captured in 1903. His playing was supremely elegant and, commentators affirmed, devastatingly accurate. As a player of mainly salon music during the later decades of nineteenth century France, he became extremely rich. Tianwa Yang is able to enter the sound world of Sarasate and to emulate his elegance. It makes one hope she will go on to explore the violin music of Vieuxtemps and Saint-Saƫns. The extremely talented Julia Fischer has a Sarasate CD coming out shortly, and I have it on order since I can't resist Sarasate's music. I'll be surprised if Julia Fischer is able to equal the playing and interpretation of this remarkable young Chinese woman.

No comments: