Music and Vision homepage


<<  -- 2 --  Patric Standford    A COMMANDING SPIRIT


The two Honigbergs join forces in a luxurious performance of Leó Weiner's Romance for cello and piano, a short romantic effusion dating back to 1921, generously melodic, with rich long phrases like this one that opens the piece [listen -- track 1, 0:04-1:02]. Weiner was liberated from Budapest's Jewish ghetto by the Soviet army in 1945 and died in 1960.

There are two works by living composers. Robert Stern, born in 1934 and presently teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, selects a group of six verses by children from a collection written in the Nazi ghetto near Prague. The cycle, called Terezin, is for soprano (Paulina Stark), cello and piano (the composer on this recording). The neat word settings are separated by instrumental interludes, and the whole cycle, the longest work on the disc, is a sparse and colourfully contrasting series of moods. In 'The Little Mouse' there is a fascinating juxtaposition of pizzicato cello and staccato piano [listen -- track 9, 0:44-1:35].

The most substantial work in the recital is the Piano Trio Silent Voices by Benjamin Lees, a strong and concentrated single movement (near fifteen minutes) with bold statements [listen -- track 18, 4:02-4:55] and occasional disturbing, perhaps angry, outbursts [listen -- track 18, 8:51-9:39]. Lees, born in 1924, was once a student with the eccentric 'bad boy of music' George Antheil, and if his work is unfamiliar to readers, they should hasten to remedy their benightedness with the Naxos recording of his Fourth Symphony Memorial Candles and the Violin Concerto on the Vox label. This Piano Trio is given a vivid performance by those for whom it was written in 1998: George Marsh, violin, Steven Honigberg, cello and the pianist Joseph Holt.

Copyright © 12 March 2003 Patric Standford, Wakefield, UK


Darkness & Light vol 4

TROY 518 HDCD NEW RELEASE 70'23" 2002 Albany Records

Steven Honigberg, cello; Carol Honigberg, piano; Paulina Stark, soprano; Robert Stern, piano; George Marsh, violin; Joseph Holt, piano

Leó Weiner: Románc Op 14 (1921); Robert Starer: Song of Solitude (1995); Robert Stern: Terezin - to the memory of the children of Terezin (1967); Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Don Quixote: Sechs Klavierstücke (1909); Benjamin Lees: Piano Trio No 2 'Silent Voices' (1998)



 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Heinrich Biber >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.