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Meditations And Reflections For Solo Violin / Tatiana Chulochnikova

Release Date: 10/18/2019
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30131
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach ,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber ,  Ivan Khandoshkin ,  Philip Glass  ...  Performer:  Tatiana Chulochnikova Number of Discs: 1

This album from violinist Tatiana Chulochnikova's explores the fascinating allusions between baroque and contemporary music through the prism of the repertoire for the unaccompanied violin. Two distinctive sound worlds coexist and reflect on each other in this dualistic album. This was made possible by using two different violins and by experimenting with the idea of the historical pitch as one of the expressive tools.

Album Credits:
Recorded November 2018 at Steppenwolf Studio, The Netherlands.
Producer/Engineer: Slava Poprugin.
Cover Photo: Dario Acosta

Tatiana Chulochnikova is a Ukrainian violinist from Kharkiv. She has trained at the Tchaikovsky
Read more Conservatory in Moscow and Oberlin and Juilliard. Her first CD was a collection of music by her countryman Theodore Akimenko. This time around she has chosen a recital of unaccompanied works by various composers. Perhaps she is more comfortable with this idiom, because the approximate intonation and thin tone that Stephen Estep complained about in 2016 are absent here. One thing that is present that I am a bit bothered by is a sameness of mood from one work to the next. Aside from that, I am mostly very happy with what I hear. The program begins with the Toccata and ends with the Fugue from Bach’s BWV 565 for organ in Chulochnikova’s effective arrangement. I would have preferred that the Fugue follow the Toccata immediately. We should remember that in the past, movements of symphonies were sometimes separated in orchestral concerts. Some other high points are the Passacaglia by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, whose opening bass line is based on the Hymn to the Guardian Angel. It is compellingly moody, and this is no routine performance, with each section more distinctly characterized than one usually hears. There are four brief extracts from Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto 2, American Four Seasons. These are remarkable because Glass restrains his usual minimalism and for the first time writes some music that I actually enjoy a bit. Bach is represented here, but in the Allegro finale from the Solo Violin Sonata 2 and not the famous Chaconne. A bit more energy from Chulochnikova would have been welcome in this piece. Eugene Ysaye is here too in the Canzona Lento e Mesto from his unpublished Solo Violin Sonata 7, which can be heard in its entirety in its premiere recording by Philippe Graffin. This sonata cannot compare with the magnificent six that Ysaye decided to publish, but this movement holds up as part of this program. On to what I wish they hadn’t included: the first movement from Ysaye’s Solo Violin Sonata 2. They play games with microphone placement and add a huge amount of echo sometimes. The music doesn’t need this kind of manipulation to get its message across, and the performance is probably good enough that it doesn’t need it, though it’s hard to tell with the annoying sonic gimmickry. This is an enjoyable recital if you want to immerse yourself in the mood that Chulochnikova builds during its 50 minutes. She seems talented and might be an interesting artist to watch.

-- Joseph Magil, American Record Guide
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