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The concluding item is the early Syzmanowski Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op 9 (1904); this time with pianist Donald Isaak; the duo power their way through this substantial (21'14") work with dogged, earthbound energy though precious little sense of wonder or exploration.

Listen -- Szymanowski: Allegro molto, quasi presto (Sonata in D minor)
(track 13, 4:33-5:35) © 2006 Skowronski Classical Recordings

Throughout the recital Skowronski is seemingly truly in his element with grand flourishes, excessive 'sturm und drang' and dollops of rubato.

Alternatives -- a fine budget account of the Syzmanowski Sonata features Miriam Kramer (violin) and Nicholas Durcan (piano) on Naxos. Or still better (at EMI prices), David Oistrach with Vladimir Yampolski (Testament). The Russians' programme also includes Prokofiev 2nd Sonata and Karen Khachaturian's 1st Sonata. Also worth trying (in a modern recording) are Polish-born BBC prizewinner (2000), violinist Rafal Zambrzycki Payne with pianist Carole Presland -- their Syzmanowski sits alongside Britten's Suite for violin and piano, Op 6 and Grieg's 3rd Sonata in C minor, Op 45.

In preference to programme notes Mr Skowronski has included details of his other seven recordings.

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


Skowronski Plays! Avec et Sans Vol II

S:CR-08 CDR Stereo FIRST RELEASE 59'57" 2006 Skowronski Classical Recordings

Vincent P Skowronski, violin; Saori Chiba, piano; Katherine Hughes, violin; Donald Isaak, piano

Ernest Bloch: Nigun, Improvisation from the suite Baal Shem; Carl Engel: Sea Shell, to a poem by Amy Lowell (arranged by Efrem Zimbalist Sr); Darius Milhaud: Duo pour deux violons (1945) (Gai; Romance; Gigue); Karol Szymanowski: Taniec z 'Harnasiow' (Dance of the Mountaineers) from the ballet/opera Harnaise, arranged for violin and piano by Pawel Kochanski (Lento, molto tranquillo; Vivace assai); Karol Szymanowski: Sonata in D minor Op 9 (Allegro moderato, patetico; Andante tranquillo e dolce; Allegro molto, quasi presto)


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