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Edvard Grieg's Sonata No 3 in C Minor for Violin and Piano Op 45 represents the fusion of Norwegian nationalism and nineteenth century Romanticism. Although best known for his piano works, Grieg wrote wonderful scores for string instruments (the Holberg and Lyric Suites, three string quartets, the superb Cello Sonata, and numerous violin works). Gluzman played the songful Violin Sonata with unaffected musicality and sensitive lyricism. He brought fiery intensity without exaggeration to the Allegro molto ed appassionato -- Grieg at his most expressive. Gluzman's dark, throbbing tone made every bar of the Allegretto expressivo alla Romanza a memorable musical experience. In the concluding Allegro animato, he captured the Norwegian folk qualities of the music with zest. Gluzman never neglected the score's grand line. Feldman's sensitive pianism brought musical depth and color to the score. Ultra romantic music in a deeply committed, memorable performance!

Gluzman has always championed the works of twentieth and 21st century composers. (His dazzling performance of Leonard Bernstein's Serenade for Violin, Strings, and Percussion with the Florida Philharmonic under Joseph Silverstein remains a cherished memory.) He has recently recorded music by Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998). Gluzman opened the concert with Schnittke's delightful Suite in the Old Style. This neo-classical work (which also exists in an orchestral version) recasts themes from the composer's film scores. Gluzman brought elegance and dulcet beauty to the score's opening Pastorale. There was vigor and grace in the Ballet and Minuet movements. The witty Fugue was dispatched with virtuosic abandon. Gluzman and Feldman captured both the classical grace and outrageous humor of the final Pantomime. Here the music proceeds in seemingly classical proportions until suddenly an out of tune chord interrupts the elegant flow. Gluzman made the most of these shocking moments -- pure Schnittke.

Vadim Gluzman is a violinist of formidable gifts. He brings tremendous musical curiosity and creative virtuosity to a wide repertoire. A terrific musician! The Great Russian School of Violin virtuosos lives on!

Copyright © 6 May 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA





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