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Some of the arrangements are anonymous, but Fritz Kreisler, the superb Austrian violinist, can claim four. A Kreisler arrangement often turns out to be a Kreisler composition. But in the case of the Slavonic Dances and 'Songs my mother taught me' (from the Op 55 Gypsy Songs) Dvorák's authorship is unchallengeable. Kreisler makes idiomatic Viennese salon pieces from music that was always intended to divert and enchant. Few things on the disc are so sensuously alluring as the start of the E minor Slavonic Dance [listen -- track 3, 0:00-0:58]. Qian Zhou, yet another eastern prodigy some fifteen years back, who has the sureness of technique and warmth of tone to produce some fine listening, is an effective protagonist. For some reason, the artless Humoresque, one of Dvorák's best-known pieces, to which my father used to rock our bewildered but contented black cat, comes out mannered and overwrought. The rest of the playing is effective and highly accomplished. Edmund Battersby, separated originally by the Pacific Ocean from his musical partner, is now as one with her, and there is no sign of resentment that he has to share with her on occasion what should really be piano pieces.

Copyright © 11 December 2002 Robert Anderson, London, UK


Dvorák: Music for Violin and Piano, Volume 2

8.554730 DDD Stereo 54'58" 2001 HNH International Ltd

Qian Zhou, violin; Edmund Battersby, piano

Ballad in D minor Op 15 No 1; Slavonic Dance in G minor Op 46 No 2 (arr Kreisler); Slavonic Dance in E minor Op 72 No 10 (arr Kreisler); Slavonic Dance in G major Op 72 No 16 (arr Kreisler); Silent Woods Op 68 No 5; Mazurek in E minor Op 49; Nocturne in B major Op 40; Humoresque Op 101 No 7; Songs my mother taught me, Op 55 No 4 (arr Kreisler); Capriccio (Rondo di Concerto), B 81; Rêverie Op 85 No 6 (arr Paul Klengel)



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