<< -- 3 -- Carson P Cooman STRONGLY NEO-ROMANTIC
Two Pieces for Violin and Viola (1978) consists of two very short movements -- the first slow and sinuously contrapuntal, and the second athletic and energetically bounding.
Sonata No 1 for Violin and Piano (1994) is cast in the two-movement form that a number of Liebermann's instrumental sonatas share -- most notably his incredibly famous Sonata for Flute and Piano (a work that has entered the standard repertory of American flutists). In these two movement sonatas, an extended slow first movement is followed by a much shorter and fast second movement. The second movement is less than half the length of the first. While not as musically memorable as the famous flute sonata, the violin sonata is attractive, particularly in its bouncy second movement [listen -- track 6, 3:00-4:00].
Trio No 2 for Violin, Cello, and Piano (2001) is a very different affair from the first trio at the start of the disc. The outer two movements are bold and forceful, while the middle movement is generally quiet, but builds to a climax at its center.
This disc is highly recommended to all of those who already know and enjoy Liebermann's music. For others who are unfamiliar with his work, the paragraphs at the start of this review should have conveyed whether or not this disc is for you. For those who wish to experience Liebermann's orchestral music, his two piano concertos are available on Hyperion in exceptional performances by Stephen Hough.