Maxim Rysanov

Viola

Maxim Rysanov

Maxim Rysanov is undoubtedly one of the world’s best and most charismatic viola players.

He is regularly invited to perform as a soloist and chamber musician in the UK and abroad and has been a guest at many prestigious festivals and venues worldwide. He works regularly with artists such as Augustin Dumay, Martin Frost, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Lev Markiz, Viktoria Mullova, Julian Rachlin, Maxim Vengerov, the ASCH trio and others. He has performed concertos with orchestras worldwide such as English Chamber Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, China Philharmonic, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Geneva Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre de Chambre de Wallonie.

Originally from Ukraine, he is now based in London after having studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and prior to that at the Central Special Music School in Moscow. He is a prize-winner of several major international awards, including the Tertis and Geneva competitions and is a BBC New Generation Artist from September 2007 and Gramophone Awards Young Artist of the Year 2008.

Maxim has a strong interest in new music and several works have been dedicated to him, including concertos by Dobrinka Tabakova and Elena Langer. He was also invited to perform the world premiere of a new Duo Concertante work for viola and cello by Artyom Vassiliev at the Spitalfields Festival with the Britten Sinfonia.

After a conducting fellowship at the Guildhall School of Music and winning the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Young Conductor scheme, Maxim also has a burgeoning career as a conductor.

Maxim is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini (1780) viola on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.

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In Schubert's Company

In Schubert's Company


Akhunov:

In Schubert’s company for viola & orchestra

Riga Sinfonietta

Der Erlkönig for viola & orchestra

Riga Sinfonietta

Desyatnikov:

Wie der Alter Leiermann for violin & orchestra

(arr. viola M.Rysanov)

Riga Sinfonietta

Schubert:

Polonaise in B flat major, D580

(arr. viola M.Rysanov)

Riga Sinfonietta

Sonata in A minor 'Arpeggione', D821

Yakov Katsnelson (piano)

Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D485

Riga Sinfonietta

Sonatina (Sonatina) in G minor, D408 (Op. posth. 137 No. 3)

(arr. viola M.Rysanov)

Yakov Katsnelson (piano)

Der Leiermann (No. 24 from Winterreise, D911)

(arr. viola & orchestra D.Tabakova)

Riga Sinfonietta

Tabakova:

Fantasy Homage to Schubert for viola and string orchestra

Riga Sinfonietta


Maxim Rysanov (viola/director)

‘I am not superstitious. Especially numerology which never occurred to me as something attractive, or something that had ever play a role in my life or had freakish power over something. Nevertheless, when I started collecting repertoire for this album, which is dedicated to Schubert's 220th anniversary, some works on the disc accidentally appeared to be connected. Schubert's 5th symphony was recorded in Riga just about 200 years after it was composed. Franz was 20 years old when he wrote it.

Leonid Desyatnikov's "Wie der alte Leiermann", for violin and orchestra, which I decided to arrange for the viola especially for this project, was composed 20 years ago for Schubert's 200th anniversary.

Spooky...

On a more serious note, Schubert touches me deeply. Not only with his music and his sensitive soul, but also his life story is fascinating to me. Composer, elementary school teacher, poet, philosopher, pianist, singer, violinist, violist!...

With this album, I present myself as a commissioner of new music, arranger, solo performer and conductor. I would like to believe I am 0.22% closer to understanding Schubert’ writes Maxim Rysanov.

Schubert’s sunny 5th Symphony, 3rd Violin Sonata and Polonaise for violin & orchestra, are joined by three contemporary composers who each draw on Schubert’s music for their compositions. A darker, tormented Schubert from his final years is the source for their works – Winterreise, Erlkönig and the late Fantasy for violin & piano providing the inspiration. The haunting beauty of Schubert’s music continues to exert a powerful influence on performers, composers and music lovers alike.

“Maxim Rysanov is joined by the Riga Sinfonietta in an album that is a testament to the way Schubert's music continues to exert an influence today on performers, composers and music lovers alike. Highly recommended” Northern Echo, 6th July 2017

“His treatment of Erlkönig is interesting and obsessive, playing with scraps of melody: the effect is impressive, the ending quite shattering” The Strad, August 2017

“Intriguing juxtapositions, fine playing from Rysanov and the Riga Sinfonietta” Record Review, July 2017

“Rysanov is involved in this many-faceted double-CD homage to Schubert as viola soloist, conductor, commissioner and arranger, often nearly all at once... The title track is a wistfully rhapsodic piece by Sergey Akhunov in which a theme from Schubert’s Adagio and Rondo Concertante seems tantalisingly just out of reach.” The Guardian, 27th July 2017 ***

“Rysanov is a prince among viola players, and this is one of his finest albums to date” Gramophone Magazine, August 2017

“Maxim Rysanov’s reading of the Arpeggione Sonata stands out for the vibrancy and elegance of his performance” Classical Ear, 21st August 217

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Maxim Rysanov plays Martinu

Maxim Rysanov plays Martinu


Martinu:

Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola (Duo No. 1), H. 313

Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin)

Duo for Violin and Viola No. 2, H. 331

Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin

Sonata for Viola & Piano, H. 355

Katya Apekisheva (piano)


Maxim Rysanov, one of today's leading viola players, explores Martinů’s clear fascination with the viola on this disc, opening with the Rhapsody-Concerto from 1952. In this lyrical two-movement work, Rysanov is supported by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the eminent Martinů expert Jiří Bělohlávek. The two Duos for violin and viola which follow are slightly earlier (from 1947 and 1950, respectively). Here the young Russian violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky joins Rysanov, in two scores where exacting technical demands bring the reward of an astonishing richness in sounds and variety from such a sparse instrumentation. Maxim Rysanov closes the disc in the company of the pianist Katya Apekisheva, performing the Viola Sonata of 1955 – like the Rhapsody-Concerto in two movements, with a tough, passionate mood that often recalls the composer's better-known cello sonatas.

“It makes perfect sense that Bohuslav Martinů was a fan of the viola; the instrument’s generous, conversational voice is exactly right for his music, and this recording from Ukrainian violist Maxim Rysanov is easy proof of why...Rysanov clinches the shifting characters and always makes his lines sing; conductor Jiří Bělohlávek draws warmth and brawn from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.” The Guardian, 7th May 2015 ****

“Rysanov plays…with great expression and there's a spring in his step…the Viola Sonata, with Katya Apekisheva in strong support, is the most discursive of the pieces here but she and Rysanov have the measure of it. That distinctive measured dance tune at 1'44 which returns as the first movement's coda is pure magic in their hands. A Martinu CD to play again and again.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

“Rysanov, the tone of his 1780 Guadagnini viola a miraculous combination of dark vigour with the translucency of a viola d'amore, has the most idiomatic partner in Jiri Belohlavek conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The consonance with violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky in the two Duos of 1947 and 1950 is even more mirculous. They play as one, swooping under and over each other.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2015 *****

GGramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2015

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Vilde Frang plays Mozart

Vilde Frang plays Mozart


Mozart:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat major K207

Cadenza: Jonathan Cohen

Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K219 'Turkish'

Cadenza: Joachim

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola & Orchestra in E flat major, K364

with Maxim Rysanov (viola)


Following the success of her discs of Romantic and Late Romantic repertoire, Vilde Frang has recorded Mozart’s Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 ‘Turkish’ and the Sinfonia Concertante K364, enabling music lovers to hear the Norwegian violinist perform Classical repertoire on disc for the first time. The impetus for this album was a 2012 orchestral tour of Asia conducted by Jonathan Cohen in which Vilde performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The vibrancy of their musical collaboration was something both artists were keen to repeat and commit to disc. Jonathan’s Cohen’s chamber orchestra, Arcangelo, proved the ideal partner, joined by violist Maxim Rysanov in the Sinfonia Concertante.

Today we tend to think of Mozart as a keyboard virtuoso but he was also an accomplished violinist. Indeed, in 1769, aged 13, he was appointed honorary concertmaster of the Salzburg Court Orchestra. For many years, it was believed that Mozart composed all five of his violin concertos in 1775, but analysis of handwriting and of the manuscript paper suggests the actual date of the first concerto, K207, was 1773. Filled with brilliant passage work, it is generally characterised by high spirits and is filled with dazzling semiquaver and demisemiquaver passages reflecting the influence of such Baroque Italian virtuosi and composers as Pietro Nardini, Pietro Locatelli and Gaetano Pugnani.

Each of Mozart’s subsequent violin concertos, all composed in 1775, is longer and on a larger scale than the preceding one. By the fifth and last, he had created a work still clearly within the Classical concerto tradition yet, in terms of both length and technical demands, approaching the instrumental concertos of the century to come. The Concerto No. 5 K219 is often referred to as the “Turkish” because of its frenzied Allegro section in the middle of the final movement.

Mozart was experimenting with the cross-over form between symphony and concerto during a tour of Europe in 1779. The result was his Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, composed in Salzburg that same year and probably the greatest of his concertante works. The eminent musicologist Alfred Einstein called it Mozart’s “crowning achievement in the field of the violin concerto” and added that, “Every trace of galanterie has disappeared” to be replaced by the “revelation of the deepest feeling.”

Vilde Frang, born in Norway in 1986, has established herself as one of the leading violinists of her generation, in demand for her musicianship and virtuosity and notable for her thoughtful interpretations and natural sense of style. Since her appearance with Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic when she was twelve years old, her career has developed organically and on her own terms. She has appeared on the world’s leading concert stages with the most prestigious orchestras under the batons of the most admired conductors, as well as in recital and chamber music with such colleagues as Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Martha Argerich, Janine Jansen, Leif Ove Andsnes and Maxim Vengerov. With her mentor Anne-Sophie Mutter, she has toured Europe and the U.S. in Bach’s Double Concerto. In 2012 Vilde was chosen to receive the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, which sponsored her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Bernard Haitink at the 2012 Lucerne Summer Music Festival. Her recordings of concertos by Sibelius, Prokofiev, Nielsen and Tchaikovsky and sonatas by Grieg, R. Strauss and Bartók for EMI Classics, now Warner Classics, won Edison Klassiek and Classic BRIT awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or and a Gramophone Award nomination. Vilde’s 2014/2015 season includes many performances of Mozart concertos.

Under its founder, artistic director and conductor Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo brings together exceptional musicians who excel on both historical and modern instruments and have a passion for faithful interpretation. Its members, many with flourishing solo and chamber music careers, value the collaboration required of chamber music as the highest expression of music making. Since its formation in 2010, Arcangelo has made a dramatic impact on the musical scene and has already recorded half a dozen albums to high acclaim, including a Gramophone award.

Violist Maxim Rysanov was born in the Ukraine and studied there and at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Winner of the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year award and a former BBC New Generation Artist, he performs widely in Europe, Asia and America. His chamber music partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicola Benedetti, Martin Fröst, Sol Gabetta, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Victoria Mullova, Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov. Through collaborations with such composers as Dobrinka Tabakova, Richard Dubugnon and Valentin Bibik – and many others – he has helped to extend the repertoire for the viola.

“Frang is a brilliant arrival on the violin scene...Her extrovert personality shines through in the rarely heard Mozart first violin concerto... Jonathan Cohen’s direction makes the most of the breathtakingly original textures of [the K364] duo concerto.” The Observer, 8th February 2015 ***

“Vilde Frang plays the first and fifth with a vitality that is fitting for the music of a precocious teenager.” Financial Times, 1st February 2015

“Frang always stays lithe, clean and nimble. So does her lively accompanying British ensemble, Jonathan Cohen’s Arcangelo...If you want your Mozart honest and durable, without fancy frills, look no further.” The Times, 20th February 2015 ****

“With Cohen’s period-instrument Arcangelo ensemble, [Frang and Rysanov] offer a fusion of traditional warmth and a more bracing instrumental style, sparing with vibrato in their solos, although not banishing it altogether. The results are fresh and invigorating, an unusually equal partnership in which the viola — Mozart’s preferred string instrument — is permitted its moments of glory.” Sunday Times, 15th March 2015

“The First Concerto is immediately captivating: light, energetic and brightly coloured...Frang has the knack of breathing life into every note, whether by variations in phrasing, attack, tone or dynamic...There are two complimentary personalities at work in the Sinfonia Concertante...Compelling listening throughout, with button-bright sound.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 *****

“the vitality and sense of freedom she brings to later music is preserved in Mozart; she adopts an airy, graceful style, confining any intense sostenuto to especially expressive moments...This, along with imagining in detail how to bring out the individuality of each phrase, results in performances that compel the attention and, in the quicker movements, expose all the wit of Mozart's youthful imagination.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - April 2015

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Brahms: Clarinet Quintet

Brahms: Clarinet Quintet


Brahms:

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

with Janine Jansen ( violin), Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola), Torleif Thedéen (cello)

Die Mainacht, Op. 43 No. 2

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114

with Torleif Thedéen (cello) & Roland Pöntinen (piano) Br

Mädchenlied, Op. 107 No. 5

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer, Op. 105 No. 2

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Vergebliches Ständchen, Op. 84 No. 4

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86 No. 2

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)


Martin Fröst (clarinet)

Johannes Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet is core repertoire, not just for clarinettists but also in the entire chamber music genre. As such, it has been on Martin Fröst’s ‘to-be-recorded list’ for a long time, and when he gathered a dream-team of string players for a concert in Stockholm in February 2013, it was the perfect opportunity for BIS to organize a recording session. Brahms’s Quintet was written in 1891 by a composer who only a year previously had renounced composing, but whose creative urge had been reawakened by his encounter with the leading clarinettist of the time, Richard Mühlfeld. Some 120 years later, Fröst – one of today’s most highly regarded musicians and the recipient of the 2014 Sonning Prize – steps into Mühlfeld’s shoes, in the company of Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Maxim Rysanov and Torleif Thedéen. As a complement to this substantial work – with a duration of almost 35 minutes – Martin Fröst has transcribed six much-loved songs by Brahms, performing them with his chamber music partner of long standing, the eminent pianist Roland Pöntinen. The songs, composed between 1866-1886, range from high lyricism (Die Mainacht) to bitter-sweet nostalgia (Wie Melodien…), via the humourous Vergebliches Ständchen. To these new recordings has been added a substantial ‘bonus’ – Martin Fröst’s performance with Pöntinen and Thedéen of the Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, which Brahms composed for Mühlfeld in the same year as the quintet. Originally released in 2005, the recording of the Trio received a warm welcome, including an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, as well as a ‘Disc of the Month’ on website ClassicsToday.com.

Janine Jansen appears courtesy of Decca Classics.

“Sensuous beauty and taut sinew mingle for an interpretation whose fastidious attention to internal balance and every musical detail result in sovereign excellence, in a sovereign recording. Fröst's control instrumental colour is superfine, intensity of phrases shaped through swell and diminution of sound.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

“Fröst revels in the deep-plush velvet of his chalumeau regions - and, indeed, sustains this timbre throughout the instrument's register...the ensemble creates cutting-edge rhythmic urgency, and a sense of real momentum.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ****

“the way the clarinet and strings listen to each other and tailor their phrasing accordingly is an object lesson in high-class ensemble playing, while the clarinet-and-piano arrangements of the songs, in which Fröst is partnered by Roland Pöntinen, complement the chamber works nicely.” The Guardian, 21st August 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Chamber

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2014

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JS Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 2, 3 and 6

JS Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 2, 3 and 6

arr. viola by Simon Rowland-Jones


Bach, J S:

Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV1008

arr. viola by Simon Rowland-Jones

Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV1009

arr. viola by Simon Rowland-Jones

Cello Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV1012

arr. viola by Simon Rowland-Jones


It was with three of Bach’s cello suites, transcribed for the viola, that Maxim Rysanov made his début on BIS in 2010. The Sunday Times had one reservation: ‘Rysanov’s recording of Bach’s suites is near perfection; the only flaw being that he did not perform all six.’ With the present disc that flaw is now being rectified, and the set is complete.

These suites were originally written for a five-stringed instrument, but are heard here on Rysanov’s own four-stringed viola built by Giuseppe Guadagnini in 1780.

Please note: The music on this Hybrid Super Audio CD can be played back in Stereo (CD and SACD) as well as in 5.0 Surround sound (SACD).

“Rysanov’s playing has grown in depth of feeling, virtuosity and tone colour...Wit and springy rhythms mark his Courantes, Bourrées, Menuets and Gavottes; his Gigues are joyous apotheoses of the dance.” Sunday Times, 1st June 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2014

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Martin Fröst: Mozart

Martin Fröst: Mozart


Mozart:

Clarinet Concerto in A major, K622

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

Clarinet Trio in E flat major, K498 "Kegelstatt-Trio"

Allegro in B flat for clarinet, 2 violins, viola & cello, KAnh.91 (516c)


One of a small handful of truly international wind players, Martin Fröst mesmerizes audiences throughout the world, whether performing concertos especially written for him or core repertoire such as the pieces presented here.

Fröst’s first recording of the Concerto in A major is one of the best-selling discs in BIS’ history. Returning to this glorious work, he now also directs the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and has assembled a truly star-studded group of friends for the coupling works.

“[Fröst's] performance has great suavity and fluency...[but] it's all too beautifully manicured...Fröst's partners [in the Allegro] include violinist Janine Jansen and viola player Maxim Rysanov: a stellar lineup for a work that's a historical footnote.” The Guardian, 17th October 2013 ***

“[Fröst] remains one of [the Quintet's] supreme interpreters...[The Allegro is] a shaving from the master’s workbench, but the concerto and trio are pure joy from first to last.” Sunday Times, 27th October 2013

“With his smooth, liquid tone, Fröst is always sensitive to the music's melancholy undertow, bending the pulse in response to shadowing of the harmony. His discreet added embellishments and inventive 'leads-in' always sound spontaneous” Gramophone Magazine, December 2013

“ Fröst's approach to Mozart's masterly Concerto is nothing if not stylish...It's all as precise and precious as a piece of Dresden china, and, as that suggests, perhaps a bit bloodless...In Robert Levin's convincing completion, [the Allegro] makes a fascinating conclusion to an immaculately played and beautifully recorded disc.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014

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Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths

Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths


Tabakova:

Insight

Concerto for Cello and Strings

Frozen River Flows

Suite in Old Style

Such different paths


Maxim Rysanov (viola, conductor), Kristina Blaumane, Torleif Thedéen, Boris Andrianov (cello), Roman Mints, Janine Jansen, Julia- Maria Kretz (violin), Amihai Grosz (viola), Raimondas Sviackevicius (accordion), Donatas Bagurskas, Stacey Watton (double bass) & Vaiva Eidukaityte-Storastiene (harpsichord)

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

ECM New Series presents the first full album devoted to the composer Dobrinka Tabakova, who was born in Bulgaria in 1980, raised from a young age in London, and is now a British citizen. This remarkable recording of her orchestral and chamber compositions for strings is richly melodic, texturally sensuous, and often emotionally radiant.

The disc features Tabakova’s Concerto for Cello & Strings and the Rameau-channeling Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra - both performed by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra - as well as three chamber works: the string trio Insight, the string septet Such Different Paths and a trio for violin, accordion and double-bass, Frozen River Flows.

The performers include star violinist Janine Jansen, leading the septet heard in Such Different Paths, and several of Tabakova’s former conservatory colleagues from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama: violinist Roman Mints, violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov, and Kristina Blaumane, principal cellist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tabakova’s music has a particularly 21st-century feel for its broad palette - its free mix of tonality and modality, of folk-music influence and the example of past masters. In it there resides the new and the familiar, or rather the familiar within the new, and vice versa; there are the spirits of East and West coursing through the pieces, usually hand in hand; and just as the composer’s technical virtuosity is apparent, she displays a gift for direct communication that can be heard in virtually every measure.

“Tabakova writes for her chosen instruments with disarming naturalness and enthusiasm...Contemporary music, in short, that's amazingly easy on the ear.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 *****

“The performances are as formidably assured as the roster of musicians would suggest...If not revelatory, Tabakova's is still a thoughtful and approachable new voice which ought to secure an enthusiastic following.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Tabakova may be Bulgarian-born but she has drunk deep from the British pastoral spring. Her music is tonal, unequivocally emotional and tuneful...Revel in this - you cannot help but be emotionally moved.” MusicWeb International, 16th July 2013

“she’s brilliant at seizing your attention...Tabakova’s Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra won’t frighten anyone – an affectionate baroque pastiche which does plumb genuine depths...ECM’s sound is, as usual, rich and detailed.” The Arts Desk, 1st June 2013

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Pavane: Maxim Rysanov

Pavane: Maxim Rysanov


Debussy:

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

Préludes - Book 1: No. 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin

Dubugnon:

Incantatio, Op. 12b

Lied, Op. 44b

Fauré:

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

Élégie in C minor, Op. 24

Romance in A major for cello & piano, Op. 69

Pavane, Op. 50

Ravel:

Pavane pour une infante défunte


Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Ashley Wass (piano)

On this new disc, Maxim Rysanov and Ashley Wass present works illustrating the striking affinity between the timbre of the viola and the colours in French music.

The disc includes arrangements of music by Ravel, Fauré and Debussy: Alongside two Pavanes, the programme includes perennial favourites such as Après un rêve and Clair de lune.

Rysanov and Wass also perform two contemporary pieces by the Swiss-French composer Richard Dubugnon. Incantatio and Lied, both for viola and piano, are adaptations by the composer of existing works made especially for Maxim Rysanov.

For BIS Rysanov has previously recorded a solo disc with three of Bach’s cello suites and his own arrangement for viola and orchestra of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations.

“Rysanov has previously demonstrated that there is far more to the instrument than Romantic brooding, but this disc finds him exploring that cliche...and the playing is utterly sublime, especially Rysanov's delicacy in upper registers and gossamer-like harmonics...The sense throughout is more of fine dark chocolate than sugar, and what (only just) prevents this becoming too sickly is the inclusion of Richard Dubugnon's Lied and, especially, Incanto.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2013 ****

“Rysanov is a remarkable string player; in his hands the viola's distinctive voice is explored throughout its range, with consistently beautiful variations of intensity and tone colour. And he and Wass show great sensitivity in finding the appropriate tempo and character for each item.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2013

“I can congratulate Rysanov for his excellent playing, Dubugnon for at least one really excellent piece, and BIS for once again creating an exciting program blending old and new...[Wass's] contributions are simply phenomenal, with a softness of touch which makes one forget the piano is percussive.” MusicWeb International, April 2013

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Beethoven: Duos for viola and violin, Trio, Cello Sonata No.5

Beethoven: Duos for viola and violin, Trio, Cello Sonata No.5


Beethoven:

Pieces for a Mechanical Clock WoO 33 No. 4

Pieces for a Mechanical Clock WoO 33 No. 5

Duet for Viola and Cello in E flat major, WoO 32 'Eyeglass'

Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 11 'Gassenhauer', for viola, cello & piano

Serenade for string trio in D major, Op. 8: Theme & variations

Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102 No. 2


Maxim Rysanov (viola), Kristine Blaumane (cello) & Jacob Katsnelson (piano)

Maxim Rysanov and friends turn their attention to Beethoven after two highly praised Brahms Viola CDs, ONYX4033 and 4054. Here we have some rare early Beethoven coupled with some late great Beethoven.

The Sonatine WoO 33 was published together with three movements for mechanical clock that Beethoven composed in the early 1790s. The Sonatine is thought to date from 1797. The Trio Op.11 was composed for piano, clarinet and cello, and here it is heard in Rysanov’s own arrangement with the viola replacing the clarinet. Beethoven’s early Serenade for string trio Op.8 of 1797 was arranged (with the composer’s lukewarm approval – he wrote that they ‘were much improved by me in places’) for viola and piano in 1804 as Op.42. The version used here of the 'Theme, Variations and March' is by William Primrose. Finally, from the composer’s later period, we have the last of his five cello sonatas played by Kristine Blaumane and pianist Jacob Katsnelson.

“Arranging and unearthing are key words here...Hard though it might be to sum up this assortment in a simple category, it is chamber music playing of intimacy, range and flair.” The Observer, 5th August 2012

“the individuality and strength of idea that Beethoven brings to a classical format is dynamically vivified; the Clarinet Trio sounds thoroughly idiomatic in its viola manifestation; and Katsnelson and Blaumane give a sublime, sinewy performance of the Fifth Cello Sonata. A fascinating disc.” The Telegraph, 10th August 2012

“This is the kind of disc that could easily get overlooked, offering as it does a potpourri of mostly lesser-known Beethoven. But that would be a great shame, for it's packed full of delicious surprises, superbly played...there are plenty of opportunities to relish the beauty of Maxim Rysanov's sound in the upper reaches...The rip-roaring finale [of the Clarinet Trio] is particularly effective, dancing with wit and rhythmic elan.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012

“In the Clarinet Trio, Rysanov has adapted the violin part (itself Beethoven's own alternative for the perkier wind instrument) for viola. No harm in that, especially when the playing is as polished as this. But the lone masterpiece here is the Cello Sonata, Op. 102 No. 2, and Kristina Blaumane and Jacob Katsnelson really plumb the depths of its great Adagio.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2012 ****

Onyx - ONYX4108

(CD)

$15.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms Works for Viola II

Brahms Works for Viola II


Brahms:

String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111

with Boris Brovtsyn (violins), Julia Deyneka (viola), Kristine Blaumane (cello)

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

(arranged for viola)

with Mariana Osipova

Two songs for contralto with viola obbligato, Op. 91

with Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano) & Ashley Wass (piano)


Maxim Rysanov completes his survey of all Brahms’s chamber works to feature the viola.

On this companion CD to ONYX4033 he is joined by Alice Coote and Ashley Wass in the Two Songs op.91, and takes the solo viola part – the clarinet role – in the op.115 Quintet.

Richard Mühlfeld, the clarinettist for whom Brahms wrote his two sonatas and the quintet, managed to coax Brahms out of self-imposed retirement, and the result is the wonderful Indian summer of late chamber works. Joseph Joachim remarked that the clarinet parts would work well transcribed for viola. Brahms lavished much care on these arrangements, and they have entered the repertoire for the viola, in contrast to the transcriptions of the clarinet sonatas for violin, which remain virtually unperformed.

There may also have been a commercial motive in making such adaptations: the wider the market for chamber music, the more money the publisher and composer would receive. Either way, these transcriptions are valuable additions to the repertoire of the viola.

Maxim Rysanov performed at the 2010 BBC Proms, including the Last Night.

“In the rhapsodic musings of the slow movement Rysanov becomes the idealised incarnation of the gypsy fiddler that Brahms surely had in mind when composing that uniquely florid part. The whole work recieves a performance of such intensity and expressive unanimity that I'm convinced this version was worth disinterring.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 ****

“Rysanov demonstrates yet again his sensitivity and empathy with these pieces. The rich warmth of his tone complements the melancholic autumnal feel which pervades this collection of late works, particularly in the compelling songs, with Alice Coote's beautiful emotive vocal phrasing.” Classic FM Magazine, May 2011 *****

“Viola discs are flooding the market currently...but this Brahms chamber music CD from Maxim Rysanov steals the limelight...It's addictive.” The Observer, 27th February 2011

Onyx - ONYX4054

(CD)

$15.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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