DONALD MARTINO (1931-2005): Violin Sonata No. 2, For Solo Violin: Sonata, Romanza, Fantasy-Variations.

Catalogue Number: 11K099

Label: Centaur

Reference: CRC 2955

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: Three late works, and one from decades earlier, all displaying Martino's detailed seriousness of expression and flamboyant compositional virtuosity. The solo sonata is elaborate, a very substantial work that pays obvious homage to Bartók's similar work, in four movements. The dodecaphonic, highly virtuosic second sonata couples soaring violin melodies alternating with crisp, staccato movement by both instruments, again in a conventionally structured four-movement layout. The wistful, singing melodies of the slow movement are especially memorable. The Romanza is the most neo-Romantic work here, an impassioned, lyrical episode. From 1962, the Fantasy-Variations is noticeably more fragmentary, more experimental than the later works; although if anything more conventional harmonically it is instrumentally more diverse in technique - notated in almost obsessive detail, apparently; the composer exploring the technical and expressive possibilities of the instrument. Miranda Cuckson (violin), Blair McMillen (piano).


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