From day one, it was normal practice for travelling virtuosos to perform fantasies on the famous operas of the nineteenth century.
After Volker's successful release of Pablo de Sarasate's complete fantasies and paraphrases (MDG9031819) the highly sought-after Schwerin concertmaster once again broadens our horizons with his piano partner Ralph Zedler and presents virtuoso opera arrangements spanning 150 years: discoveries are guaranteed!
La traviata of course is a must on every program. Antonio Bazzini transformed Verdi's famous opera into an intimate character portrait of Violetta and two contributions were penned by Henri Vieuxtemps.
His fantasy on Bellini's Norma is to be played in its entirety on the violin?s lowest string, which for this purpose is to be tuned a fourth higher, from G to C ? a la Paganini! Here the youthful violin magician can very much be heard, while his late work on Gounod?s Faust reveals the mature artist.
Reinhold and Zedler conclude their entertaining tour through one and a half centuries with two works that may not be so well known but for this precise reason arouse all the more interest. Frantizek Ondricek's looks eastward with his arrangement of Glinka's A Life for the Tsar, and Igor Frolov, who was once David Oistrach's assistant, supplies the dazzling conclusion with Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and its jazzy touches, of course including 'Summertime.'
Bazzini: Fantasia su motivi della Traviata, Op. 50
Frolov: Concert Fantasy on Themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Op. 19
Ondricek: Fantasie on motifs from Glinka's 'A Life for the Tsar'
Vieuxtemps: Fantasie on Bellini's 'Norma'
Vieuxtemps: Fantasie on Gounod's Faust