Viktor Uzur In Recital (Viktor Uzur & Vadim Serebryany)

Viktor Uzur In Recital (Viktor Uzur & Vadim Serebryany)

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Giuseppe Valentini (1681-1740)
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 10 in E Major, arr. by A. Piatti
1. I Grave 2:50
2. II Allegro 2:43
3. III Allegro. Tempo di Gavotta 2:08
4. IV Largo 2:30
5. V Allegro 3:02
Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 in F Major, Op. 99
6. I Allegro vivace 8:50
7. II Adagio affettuoso 7:48
8. III Allegro passionato 7:18
9. IV Allegro molto 4:24
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975)
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 40
10. I Allegro non troppo - Largo 12:26
11. II Allegro 3:12
12. III Largo 9:17
13. IV Allegro 4:08
Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901)
14. Caprice for Solo Cello, Op. 25 No. 5 2:59

 

 


 

 

REVIEWS

Fanfare Reviews "Viktor Uzur In Recital"
Viktor Uzur is a phenomenal cellist in a world currently replete with outstanding cellists. Born in Yugoslavia, he attended the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Between 1992 and 1999 he served as principal cellist and soloist with the prestigious ARCO Moscow Chamber Orchestra. He is currently professor of cello at Weber State University in Utah.

The Giuseppe Valentini (1681–1740) Sonata sounds, in this arrangement by Alfredo Piatti, more rococo than Baroque, but it provides a fine showcase for Uzor’s strengths. His treatment of its opening measures is graced by a truly singing tone, spot-on intonation, and elegantly refined phrasing—virtues never lost throughout the remainder of this recital. The Sonata’s fast movements demand rapid articulation, which Uzor provides effortlessly à la Rostropovich in his prime. In the final movement’s cadenza he tosses off some unbelievable pyrotechnics that bring to mind the virtuosity of so many of violinist David Oistrakh’s recordings of the early 1950s.

Uzor’s Brahms op. 99 Sonata is performed largely within consensus tempos. In that respect it is similar to Yo-Yo Ma’s RCA recording with Emanuel Ax, and Rostropovich’s classic one with Rudolph Serkin on DG. What distinguishes Uzor’s reading is its synergistic combination of Casals and du Pré-like fire and Fournier’s elegance. Uzor produces a huge dynamic range throughout—thunderous, unstrained fortissimos at one extreme and often heart-stopping soto voce playing at the other. This is a grandly hyper-Romantic performance, teeming with effective rubatos and telling tempo relationships. As in the Valentini Sonata, Uzor and Serebryany are in total accord, producing a result that far exceeds the sum of its parts.

All of the virtues of the Brahms performance inform this reading of the Shostakovich Sonata. Most cellists are quick to latch onto its moments of charming lyricism and amiability, but do so at the expense of its darker moments. Shostakovich is, first and foremost, a composer of stark contrasts in tempo, sonority, dynamics, and, most important, affect. Here, for once, the brooding and sardonic moments are given their full due in a work which so clearly forecasts the Shostakovich of the latter part of his career. Until now, my favorite modern performance was the Wispelwey/Lazić collaboration on Channel Classics. Uzor’s and Serebryany’s partnership provides a larger-than-life account which sounds like Wispelwey and Lazić on steroids, and given Shostakovich, that is a splendid thing.

The sound, recorded at two live performances (May 10 and 11, 2005) at the Molly Grove Chapel, First Presbyterian Church, Lansing, Michigan, is warm, detailed, and ably conveys the dynamism of these two performers. William Zagorski

American Record Guide:
Recording recitals on location is a potentially hazardous proceeding, between the possibilities of something going awry in the performance and the audience noise. This one works just fine, however, and the intensity of watching people and listening to them makes both players dig in and make the music talk.

The recital begins with Alfredo Piatti’s virtuoso arrangement of baroque violin sonata, played with panache. Then comes the great Brahms F-Major Sonata, played with a dynamic range from grit to whisper. The Shostakovich responds well to this treatment also. The recital ends with one of the Piatti Caprices, played with an impressive balance between technical prowess and bringing out the potential musicality of the piece.
This is a remarkably well-controlled set of performances. The emphasis on precision of intonation and articulation tends to have the listener concentrating on that rather than on the music itself, but the interpretations are geared to the music. It is quite a special recital.
D Moore.