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Stefan Wolpe, Vol. 7 - Music for solo violin and for violin & piano / Movses Pogossian & Varty Manouellian, violins; Susan Grace, piano

Album Summary

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Second Piece for Violin Alone, C. 165
>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Duo, for 2 violas (incomplete), C. 7, Op. 2
>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Zwei Studien, for 2 violins & piano, C. 54
>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Sonata, for violin & piano, C. 117
>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Second Sonata, for violin & piano (incomplete), C. 149
>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Piece for Viola Alone, C. 166
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

As a child Stefan Wolpe studied the violin and the piano, and by his teens he wished to become a concert pianist and composer. His life transformed when, at the age of 18, he visited the Bauhaus at Weimar and sat in on the Preliminary Course of the painter and progressive educator Johannes Itten. Throughout his life Wolpe maintained that art has the power to transform the individual and society. This remarkable collection of Wolpe's music for violin(s) and piano includes several premiere recordings (the spectacular op. 2 Duo for two violins, the two studies of 1933, and the fragment of a second violin sonata). In addition it includes Wolpe's two late violin solos, and his magnificent and epic 1949 Sonata for Violin and Piano. The featured violinist on all the works is the Armenian/American virtuoso, Movses Pogossian.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Packard Hall (Colorado College) Colorado Springs, CO (02/01/2014-02/03/2014); Thayer Hall, The Colburn School of Music, Los Angeles, (02/01/2014-02/03/2014); Packard Hall (Colorado College) Colorado Springs, CO (05/19/2014); Thayer Hall, The Colburn School of Music, Los Angeles, (05/19/2014).



Reviews

A major addition to Wolpe's discography

Volume seven of Bridge Record's on-going Stefan Wolpe series focuses on music for violin and piano. And it also presents a capsule summary of the composer's development.

As a young man, Wolpe was enamoured of Schoenberg and his 12-tone technique. The Duo for Two Violins, Op. 2 (1924) comes from that period, but it's no Schoenberg clone. While Wolpe's language is atonal and dissonant, it's also somewhat lyrical in places. To my ears, some of the passage reminded me of Bartok.

The Sonata for Violin and Piano (1949) represented a stylistic shift, using what Wolpe called "displacement." The work has a certain halting quality to it, as motifs are displaced with inserted rests. Although the two instruments seem to play independently, I heard their lines elliptically relate to each other time and again, giving the work a cohesiveness that slowly revealed itself with repeated listening.

The Piece in Two Parts for Violin Alone (1964) is a fascinating composition, an organic work with its own internal logic. Movses Pognossian's performance seems to effortlessly flow from idea to idea -- even though the piece itself continually stops and starts.

I wouldn't recommend this release as an introduction to Wolpe's oeuvre. But for the listener who's familiar with his work and is ready to explore Wolpe's catalog further, this can be an excellent "next step" purchase.
Submitted on 08/16/16 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Second Piece for Violin Alone, C. 165
  • Performer: Movses Pogossian (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1966

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Duo, for 2 violas (incomplete), C. 7, Op. 2
  • Performers: Varty Manouelian (Violin); Movses Pogossian (Violin)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 12/1924

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Zwei Studien, for 2 violins & piano, C. 54
  • Performers: Susan Grace (Piano); Varty Manouelian (Violin); Movses Pogossian (Violin)
  • Notes: Packard Hall (Colorado College) Colorado Springs, CO (02/01/2014-02/03/2014)
  • Running Time: 2 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1933

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Sonata, for violin & piano, C. 117
  • Performers: Susan Grace (Piano); Movses Pogossian (Violin)
  • Notes: Packard Hall (Colorado College) Colorado Springs, CO (02/01/2014-02/03/2014)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Second Sonata, for violin & piano (incomplete), C. 149
  • Performers: Susan Grace (Piano); Movses Pogossian (Violin)
  • Notes: Packard Hall (Colorado College) Colorado Springs, CO (02/01/2014-02/03/2014)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959

>Wolpe, Stefan [Composer] : Piece for Viola Alone, C. 166
  • Performer: Movses Pogossian (Violin)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1966