DAN DEDIU (b.1967): Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 7, À la recherche de la Marseillaise de Stravinsky for Solo Violin, Op. 134, for Violin and Piano: Don Giovanni/Juan “SonatOpera”, Op. 73, A Mythological Bestiary, Op. 133.

Catalogue Number: 10X065

Label: Metier

Reference: msv 28621

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Dediu has forged an original idiom by incorporating "found objects" from all over music history into his own modernist style. This was notable on the piano disc we offered in 2008, (now unavailable, but you can read about it here - 05J122), and these violin works exemplify this unusual approach to an even greater extent. The "SonatOpera" reimagines Mozart's Don Giovanni as a highly virtuosic work for violin and piano, retelling the drama with reference to specific arias and ensemble numbers, about which the composer is completely open. This is not transcription, though, much less pastiche; the vocabulary is a kind of freely modal atonality (which the composer evidently adopted early on, as this is the language of his solo sonata, written when he was 19). Some of the original material is obvious, but most is transformed to the point of obscurity. Exceptions are the interpolated motifs from Strauss' Don Juan, especially the opening, which make frequent punctuating appearances. The Bestiary, a virtuoso tour de force for both players, is a set of six character pieces describing mythical creatures from various European mythologies. Here the composite beasts are pieced together from styles ranging from Mediæval through Romantic to modern, joined together in seamless continuity that would have made Dr Frankenstein proud. There are some explosive clusters (some of these creatures were pretty fierce, after all, though the Sphinx is content to calmly sing a searching melody, and the Unicorn stands immobile in an enchanted glade, both very tonal in voice, and the Mandragora are mischievous rather than alarming), but overall there is a far greater sense of tonality here than in the other works, which are decades earlier; a good deal of the strikingly virtuosic writing for both instruments is reminiscent of Enescu or Bartók, and by no means embarrassed by the comparison. Irina Muresanu (violin), Valentina Sandu-Dediu (piano).

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