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REVIEWS CDS

is the third movement of Zurab


Nadarejshvilis String Quartet no.1, from
the hocketed pizzicato of the opening to
DOUBLE BASSES ALL ROUND
the climactic wild lament I long to hear
the other movements, sadly not included David Kettle reviews a trio of recent bass discs
here. The Carducci Quartet never slackens
the intensity. Recorded sound throughout THREE RECENTLY RELEASED discs offer on the basss body. Theres little sense of
has superb presence. contrasting perspectives on the double drama or opposition between different
CATHERINE NELSON bass. Oltracuidansa (Provenal for sorts of material, however the sound
going beyond thinking) by Stefano tableaux Scodanibbio creates are
Scodanibbio (Mode 225), an Italian beautifully etched but inherently static.
VIOLA TRANSCRIPTIONS avant-garde bassist who has worked Nevertheless, its a hugely impressive
Arrangements by Tertis and Primrose of with many contemporary composers, achievement and displays Scodanibbios
works by Haydn, Liszt, C.P.E. Bach, is the most challenging of the three. breathtaking playing.
J.S. Bach, Paganini, Faur, Rameau It presents an hour-long, single-track Temporary by improvising bassists
Kreisler, Mendelssohn, Boccherini, exploration of a plethora of extended William Parker and Giorgio Dini
Schubert, A. Benjamin, Brahms, techniques, selected and multi-tracked (Silta SR 0903) seems to fall between
Grieg, Kreisler & Saint-Sans from six hours of material recorded two stools. Its ve improvisations for
Yizhak Schotten (viola) by Scodanibbio. Yet despite its often two basses lack the wilful strangeness
Katherine Collier (piano) bizarre sound world at times its of Scodanibbios modernism, yet,
CRYSTAL RECORDS CD 630 even possible to forget youre listening despite their occasional forays into jazz
to a double bass Scodanibbio territory, never fully embrace that idiom
Lionel Tertis and William has constructed a readily accessible either. Nevertheless, theres impressive
Primrose were the two structure of slowly evolving textures playing here as the two performers
most inuential pioneers where sounds gradually develop and are responsive to each others sound
of modern viola playing, morph into each other. Particularly ideas, and the music they create is fresh
and a recording that pays impressive is a section of and alive.
alive The Largo movement is full
them homage is always welcome. Yizhak jazz-like pizzicatos near of stuttering
stutte pizzicatos, with scraps
Schotten was a Primrose protg and the start which slowly of melody
melod gradually coalescing then
thus has a personal connection with this Leon meld into eerie dispersing again, and the concluding
dispersin
Bosch
repertoire. Although it was Primroses makes the
semi-harmonics, Danza e nale ends with a compelling
sound rather than his virtuosity that most bass sing or a later passage jazz-like riff. The music seems at times
impressed Schotten as a student, almost of seductive quite self-indulgent,
se and at others
all the transcriptions by the great Scot rhythms introspective,
introspe but it nevertheless
included here are of the virtuoso kind, built from delivers a rich and rewarding
not least the Paganini Caprices nos.5 sounds listening experience.
and 13 (which Primrose performed in his produced The Hungarian
H Double Bass by
debut recording as a violist), that include South African-born
Af bassist Leon Bosch
small but effective amendments to the (Meridian
(Meridia CDE 84597) is by far the
original violin part. If the spiccato of no.5 most tratraditional of the three discs, and
doesnt quite have the jaw-dropping its a joy from start to nish. The varied
perfection of Primroses own recording, repertoi mostly short, light pieces
repertoire
the teasing glissandos of no.13 (The ranging from gypsy-style evocations
Devils Laugh) are absolutely enchanting. to more modern works allows
I was disappointed that just the nale Bosch to show off his immaculate yet
of Haydns Divertimento in D major and the effortless technique. Its in the slower
effortles
Allegro from Boccherinis Sonata in A major th he really excels in the
music that
are included (there would have been Kodly Adagio,
A for example, he makes
room for the other movements), but they the bass sing in a deceptively simple
compare well with Primroses renditions. performance,
perf committed yet not
The Tertis transcriptions are mostly of over-stated.
ove He has a superb
songs Liszts Liebestraum, Brahmss control
con over the basss sound at
Minnelied and Griegs I love you among times he is rich and full-bodied,
tim
them and show off beautifully Schottens yyet at others he reduces the
dark, masculine sound. With typically tone to something light and
informative annotation by Tully Potter transparent, with wonderfully
and truthful recorded sound (Schotten here smooth phrasing. Bosch
wearing his recording engineer cap), this receives
r lithe, responsive
CD is a self-recommendation for everyone support
su from pianist Sung-Suk
GUY MAYER

interested in the history of the viola. Kang in a disc to really savour.


Kan
CARLOS MARA SOLARE

96 THE STRAD FEBRUARY 2011 www.thestrad.com

Book 1.indb 96 12/01/2011 12:09


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