OVER THE TOP ROMANTICISM--- BUT SUCH FUN! (Part 2)
Melvyn M. Sobel | Freeport (Long Island), New York | 08/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Again, I simply cannot repress a smile when listening to these so elementally and stereo-typically "romantic" piano sonatas of Burgmuller (1810-1836) and Volkmann (1815-1883), along with the delightfully inventive piano pieces of Kirchner (1823-1905). I'm sorry, but one could almost say they're quaint in their sheer naivete and abandon; and, frankly, I find them all the more ingratiating for these reasons.Burgmuller's Sonata in F Minor, Op. 8, begins with an Allegro molto (9:12) of obvious Beethovenian bluster (e.g. especially with so many adaptations of the "modernisms" we hear in the late piano sonatas). Built on an exciting repeated motif, notes and chords amass, ebb and flow, and, meanwhile, interweave with the most Schubertian of melodies. The muse of Chopin, however, hovers above the lyrical Romanze (7:24), whose quirky trio section reminds us, again, that Burgmuller's impetus never strays far from Beethoven. In the Allegro molto e con fuoco finale (11:19), Burgmuller surprises us, shortly in, with a multitude of ear-catching "tricks": exciting runs, unexpected lyricism, thrilling punctuated chords--- all built and rebuilt on the same germinal motif. But it works. And it's all quite a kick.With the Volkmann Sonata in C Minor, Op. 12, there tends to be a bit more "gravitas" and overall structural complexity. His penchant for melody, however, is never occluded; the gorgeous little tune that appears and reappears throughout the opening Moderato cantabile (6:32) is adequate proof of this. The Prestissimo (2:32) is a scurrying "molto perpetuo," quite reminiscent of Mendelssohn, and a brilliant segue into the Andante pesante/Allegro molto finale (5:02). Fascinating structure, this: your basic "slow movement" concluding the sonata--- and a beauty it is!--- capped by a sudden, rousing coda.However, Volkmann's Fantasy in C, Op. 25a (5:47), shows a composer easily on par with Liszt or Brahms in overall depth, dimension and technical expertise. This is a no holds barred showpiece, sparse on lyricism, but exceptionally exciting in execution.In Kirchner we find a dreamer who excelled in shorter piano works, not unlike Schumann's Bunte Blatter or Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words. The selection here is culled from a variety of the composer's output, namely: the Op. 21 (Aquarellen), Op. 30 (Studies and Pieces), Op. 71 (Little Studies) and the Op. 73 (Romantic Poems). Most memorable are the Op. 21, No. 3 (fr. Aquarellen), Op. 73, No. 2 ("Spring Greeting"), Op. 73, No. 4 ("Days Gone By") and the absolutely beautiful Op. 73, No. 2 ("Nocturne").Adrian Ruiz, whose excellent Genesis performance of the complete Goetz Piano Music has given me untold pleasure for twenty-five years (and is also available through Amazon), is, again, the perfect artist to renew these neglected works afresh. His affection, intuitive sense of wit, charm and breadth make this CD a treat to hear... and, yes, fun, as well. The transferred sound from the 1973 LPs is full, rich and immediate. Enjoy![Running time: 71:14]"
Slouching towards Volkmann
Cry the Name | this temple of silence and stars | 03/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My friends! The world has lost sight of beauty. The hardened, the cynical, the feined must no longer be allowed to dictate what is and is not true art. I give you, for example, the case of these heart searing piano works by Burgmuller, Volkmann, and Kirchner (an aside: I once went to school with a girl whose last name was Kirchner--she was, intriguingly enough as morose and disaffected as the Spiritual Fascists who reject music such as that on this disc). We must bear the opression and affectation of the ultra serious no longer. Rise up my brothers and sisters! Celebrate a joyous, a lovely music...Throw off the bonds of Criticism as Cynicism...Get This Disc."
Burgmuller's sonata is a gem of thousand carats
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 05/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What talented musician was Norbert Burgmuller. Since the first time I listened this sonata in vinyl in 1976, I still wonder this musician is so underknown.
This sonata reminds us to the best pages of Robert Schumann. Remember this work belongs to Op. 8 . So consider Burgmuller was developing his huge potential musicianship.
His early death was a great loss for the musical world.This composer ownwd the greatness sense, deep musicality and above all a powerful conviction. Far from being a musician for the galleries he would have been able to clim higher peaks in the story.
The performing given by Adrian Ruiz is honest, austere and felt heart.
Buy this CD , because this work deserves being more known for all who loves the great music."