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Duke: Violin Concerto / Elmira Darvarova, violin

Album Summary

>Duke, Vernon : Concerto for Violin
>Duke, Vernon : Sonata for violin & piano in D major
>Duke, Vernon : Etude for violin & bassoon
>Duke, Vernon : Hommage to Offenbach, for violin & piano
>Duke, Vernon : Capriccio Méxicano, for violin & piano
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Vernon Duke was one of George Gershwin's closest friends, whose early career as `classical` composer yielded unmistakably Russian works. Gershwin persuaded him to change his name from Vladimir Dukelsky and to try his hand at popular songwriting musical theater, advice that acted as a catalyst for a litany of songs - including `Taking a Chance on Love`, `I Can't Get Started`, `April in Paris`, `What Is There To Say`, and `Autumn in New York`, to name a very few -- that are staples of the Great American Songbook.

This newest release from Urlicht AudioVisual showcases the other side of Vernon Duke with the world premiere recordings of his complete violin works -- including the Violin Concerto of 1944 originally composed for, but never played by, Jascha Heifetz -- in editions prepared by the recording's conductor and pianist Scott Dunn, associate conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and an authority on the `classical` works of popular and film composers. The concerto in particular is beautifully crafted, a powerhouse virtuoso work which has been unbelievably neglected and, as revealed in this recording, represents a significant addition to the repertoire.

Duke's music for the concert hall inhabits the same stylistic circle as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Lourié, and reveals Duke as their equal in imagination and daring takes on traditional forms that yield enjoyable listening.

Violinist Elmira Darvarova is a protégé of Henryk Szeryng and Josef Gingold, a Tchaikovsky Competition prize-winner, and a past concertmaster of the MET Orchestra. Her continuing enthusiasm for tracking down neglected repertoire has resulted in first recordings of chamber music by Franco Alfano (with Scott Dunn) that have gone a long way in reviving and redeeming the reputation of a composer best known for his completion of Turandot.

Haenen, together with session photographs, and reproductions from Anna Magdalena Bach's manuscript. The recording is excellent value, with two full CDs for the price of one.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
All in all, this is a quite enjoyable piece. It's fresh, lively, tuneful, and just different enough to please without offending more conservative listeners. The performance is very good. Elmira Darvarova is a marvelous violinist, to my ears in the tradition of Heifetz, who manages a lovely balance of cut-glass precision and penetrating sweetness through the many acrobatics as well as the soaring lyrical flights that Duke assigns her. Ulricht's recording throws a bright spotlight on Darvarova. Darvarova is also front-and-center in the Sonata in D.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Edith Memorial Chapel, The Lawrenceville School, Lawren (03/19/2014); ORF Funkhaus, Vienna (03/19/2014); Edith Memorial Chapel, The Lawrenceville School, Lawren (11/24/2012); ORF Funkhaus, Vienna (11/24/2012).



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Works Details

>Duke, Vernon : Concerto for Violin
  • Performer: Elmira Darvarova (Violin)
  • Conductor: Scott Dunn
  • Ensemble: ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 10 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1943

>Duke, Vernon : Sonata for violin & piano in D major
  • Performers: Elmira Darvarova (Violin); Scott Dunn (Piano)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1948-1949

>Duke, Vernon : Etude for violin & bassoon
  • Performers: Elmira Darvarova (Violin); Kim Laskowski (Bassoon)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1931

>Duke, Vernon : Hommage to Offenbach, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Elmira Darvarova (Violin); Scott Dunn (Piano)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957

>Duke, Vernon : Capriccio Méxicano, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Elmira Darvarova (Violin); Scott Dunn (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1939