Friday, July 7, 2017

Hans Pfitzner - Piano Works; Violin Sonata (Ulf Wallin; Roland Pöntinen)


Composer: Hans Pfitzner
  1. Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, Op. 27: I. Bewegt, mit Empfindung
  2. Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, Op. 27: II. Sehr breit und ausdrucksvoll
  3. Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, Op. 27: III. Äußerst schwungvoll und feurig
  4. Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 47: 1. Letztes Aufbäumen
  5. Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 47: 2. Ausgelassenheit
  6. Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 47: 3. Hieroglyphe
  7. Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 47: 4. Zerrissenheit
  8. Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 47: 5. Melodie
  9. Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, Op. 51: 1. Nicht schnell
  10. Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, Op. 51: 2. Kräfig, elastisch
  11. Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, Op. 51: 3. Gemächlich
  12. Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, Op. 51: 4. Studie über 5.4.3. Bewegt
  13. Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, Op. 51: 5. Wuchtig
  14. Sechs Studien für das Pianoforte, Op. 51: 6. Trillerstudie. Langsam

Ulf Wallin, violin (1-3)
Roland Pöntinen, piano

Date: 2001
Label: cpo



PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: *****

That Hans Pfitzner was far more than just the composer of Palestrina has been triumphantly demonstrated by CPO in its exploration of the composer’s orchestral works a few years back, and more recently by the five-volume series of songs. Now the label turns to the works for solo piano and the Violin Sonata, both fascinating discoveries. Pfitzner’s entire piano oeuvre (discounting three undated short pieces) consists of two sets: the Five Piano Pieces of 1941 and the Six Studies of the following year. Curious that it’s so little, so late, for Pfitzner was an accomplished pianist and an inveterate admirer of Schumann. Less surprising is the fact that his own pieces owe so much to Schumann’s example – not least the final Melodie of the Op. 47 set, which is an unashamed homage to Schumann’s Romance in F sharp, Op. 28/2. Even more welcome is the opportunity to make the acquaintance of Pfitzner’s only Violin Sonata. Dating from the time of Palestrina – it was actually begun immediately after the premiere of the opera in 1917 – the Sonata is an exhilarating outpouring of inspiration in late-Romantic style. Ulf Wallin and Roland Pöntinen are exemplary advocates, and violinists looking for an attractive addition to their repertoire should seek out this disc urgently. I look forward to further neglected treasures of Pfitzner’s chamber output from CPO, preferably with better translated booklet notes.

-- Barry MillingtonBBC Music Magazine


Hans Pfitzner (5 May 1869 – 22 May 1949) was a German composer and self-described anti-modernist. His best known work is the post-Romantic opera Palestrina, loosely based on the life of the sixteenth-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Pfitzner's music, including pieces in all the major genres except the symphonic poem, was respected by contemporaries such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. His works combine Romantic and Late Romantic elements with extended thematic development, atmospheric music drama, and the intimacy of chamber music. Pfitzner's students included musicians such as Otto Klemperer, Charles Münch and Carl Orff.


Ulf Wallin is a Swedish violinist who was born in Växjö and grew up in Linköping. He studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. He has particular interest in contemporary music and close collaboration with composers such as Anders Eliasson, Alfred Schnittke and Rodion Shchedrin. Wallin has made numerous recordings for radio and television, and recorded over 40 CD recordings for labels BIS, cpo, EMI and BMG. Since 1996 he is professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" Berlin.


Roland Pöntinen (born 4 May 1963 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish pianist and composer. He studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm with Gunnar Hallhagen, then with Menahem Pressler, György Sebok and Elisabeth Leonskaya at the Indiana University, United States. He made his debut in 1981 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and has since then performed with many major orchestras. Pöntinen's solo record debut was on the BIS Records label in 1984. He has since made over 50 records as soloist, accompanist and with orchestra.


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