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Frank Stadler, leader of the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, has earned a reputation as one of the foremost performers of contemporary music.
Whether in solo playing, orchestral playing or in collaboration with other musicians, Frank has lived the riskiest repertoire, even the hellish Helicopter String Quartet of Stockhausen. Yet his training and individualism are anathema to our perception of ‘contemporary specialists’: purity in tone and elegant phrasing defines his playing. With his first solo disc for the TwoPianists label, Frank explores the idiosyncrasies of three very different, yet very compatible composers. Luis Magalhaes, co-founder of TwoPianists Records, teams up with Frank Stadler for some extraordinarily sensitive, yet powerful playing.
The three works for violin and piano featured on this disc, have been recorded but never been afforded the status they deserve. First up is the Janacek sonata which are at times hair-raising and excruciating and other times tragic, tender and despondent. This work is matched by the introspective and fatalistic Schumann Sonata no.2, clearly driven by the challenging piano part.
To finish the disc the Schubert Fantasy in C major, D 934, seems an odd choice: so technically demanding that the original audience in Vienna were aghast at all the ‘tricks’. Yet there is an underlying restlessness that elevates the music far beyond any showcasing.
Violin: Frank Stadler
Piano: Luis Magalhães
Cat. #: TP1039084
Label: TwoPianists Records
Recorded at: Endler Hall, Stellenbosch University, South Africa - December 13-17, 2010
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