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The other major item is Michael Radulescu's 'Suonata for solo viola' -- 63-year-old Radulescu is best known as a virtuoso organist, choral director, music historian and educator. Here however is a work in which the haunting, disembodied line is interrupted and finally taken over by pained, increasingly furious interjections leading to a gentle chordal summation [listen -- track 5, 7:45-9:19].

Kreisler's five-minute Recitativo en Scherzo Caprice betrays little of the Viennese gemütlichkeit associated with the hugely revered Austrian violinist/composer. Instead we hear a taxing virtuoso showpiece -- a solo display which again, Zemtsov takes in his stride.

His well-matched accompanist, Irina Shishkina, rejoins the viola for the brief 'Desire, Muzurka and Prelude' of Alexander Scriabin, then, similarly brief, the Castle Duivenvoorde live audience hears Mikhail Kugel's defiant solo essay in power and lyricism titled Prelude Ysaye. Next M Zemtsov performs Evgueni Zemtsov's colossal four-minute Melodia, a tailor-made 'demo' for overwhelming expression, weighty multiple-stopping, and the fullest dynamic compass [listen -- track 9, 1:19-2:32].

At a guess Evgueni is Zemtsov senior, Mikhail Zemtsov rides a wave of critical acclaim, while twelve-year-old Dana, heard here in a neatly accomplished Handel Concerto movement, represents the ascendant generation.

Copyright © 2 August 2006 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


The Last Rose of Summer - Live at Castle Duivenvoorde

NA5001CD DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 73'31" 2004 Stemra Natural Acoustics

Mikhail Zemtsov, viola; Irina Shishkina, piano

Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894): Sonata for viola and piano (Moderato appassionato; Andante; Moderato con moto; Allegro assai); Michael Radulescu (born 1943): Suonata for solo viola; Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962): Recitativo en Scherzo Caprice for solo viola; Alexander Skriabin (1872-1915): Desire, Mazurka, Prelude for viola and piano; Mikhail Kugel (born 1946): Prelude Ysaye for solo viola; Evgueni Zemtsov (born 1940): Melodia for viola and piano; Wilhelm Ernst (1814-1865) arr Mikhail Kugel: The Last Rose of Summer for solo viola; G F Haendel: Concerto for viola and piano, first movement (played by 12-year-old Dana Zemtsov)



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