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Label: Odradek Records
Cat No: ODRCD375
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 17th May 2019
WorksViolin Sonata no.17 in C major, K296
Violin Sonata no.18 in G major, K301
Violin Sonata no.21 in E minor, K304
Violin Sonata no.22 in A major, K305
ArtistsShmuel Elbaz (mandolin)
Asaf Kleinman (piano)
The sonatas featured on this album were composed during a pivotal stage in Western music history, when the two musicians, soloist and keyboardist, were treated as essentially equal, a relationship which lends itself to a duo of mandolin and piano. In Mozart’s mature violin sonatas the sense of equality enables this pairing to flourish; the mandolin naturally lends itself to decorating the keyboard part, but in these works it is also given aural space in which to come to the fore. The mandolin shares the tuning of the violin, allowing it to adapt effortlessly to this repertoire. Mozart himself was familiar with the instrument: mandolin serenades became a fashionable feature in the operas of Mozart’s era, including his own Don Giovanni, in which it is given a solo during the canzonetta, ‘Deh, vieni alla finestra’.
Described as the “Paganini of the mandolin” by the Jerusalem Post, Shmuel Elbaz is an award-winning mandolin artist. His world-premiere recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin performed on the mandolin raised great interest and was broadcast widely. His fascination with encounters between Western and non-Western musical cultures has led to many collaborations, and he often works with composers to create new music.
Award-winning Israeli pianist Asaf Kleinman has been praised as a “master of the keyboard” (Jerusalem Post). Russian pianist Nikolai Petrov called him a “rare musician and pianist”, and Hungarian pianist Tamás Vásáry said, “he has the power to make the audience listen to him”. Since his 2004 debut at Moscow’s Musical Kremlin Festival, Kleinman has performed globally as a soloist with orchestras, and as a chamber musician and recitalist. His repertoire ranges from early Baroque to contemporary music, and his concert appearances have been broadcast on TV and radio.
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