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Sea Shell by Paris-born pianist, musicologist and publisher, Carl Engel (1883-1944) is based on a short verse by American Pulitzer prize-winner (posthumously) and imagist poet, Amy Lowell (1874-1925). This encore-length piece is arranged by a Leopold Auer protégé, Efrem Zimbalist Senior (1889-1985), and Skowronski plays it with a full, cloying tone and somewhat draggy tempo.

Listen -- Carl Engel: Sea Shell (track 2, 0:19-1:32)
© 2006 Skowronski Classical Recordings

The performance, accompanied by Saori Chiba has some moments of vestigial portamento but otherwise proceeds in an acceptable though rather dated style.

Honegger's brief 'Sonatine for two violins' (H29/1920) is one of nine sonatas and sonatinas he wrote between 1912 and 1940; subsequently catalogued by the composer's grand-daughter, Maud Czerwin Honegger. The performance with duo partner, violinist Katherine Hughes is marred by more than a little dodgy intonation; notably in the opening Allegro non tanto. The central Andantino fares a little better while the partnership appear more settled in the concluding Allegro moderato.

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Copyright © 14 May 2008 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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