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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.

“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

“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 *****

Onyx - ONYX4054

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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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BIS - BIS1773

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Bach - Inventions & Partita

Bach - Inventions & Partita


Bach, J S:

Two-part Inventions Nos. 1-15, BWV772-786

Transcribed for 2 Violins

Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004

Three-part Inventions (Sinfonias) Nos. 1-15, BWV787-801

transcribed for Violin, Viola and Cello


Janine Jansen (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Torleif Thedeén (cello)

"[Bach's Inventions] are not played enough They deserve to be played! They are such wonderful, genius pieces." Janine Jansen

Recorded: Berlin, April 2007

“In a performance of BWV 1004 so vividly alive, the wary can relax. ..the great Chaconne is both purposefully plotted and breathtakingly executed - listen to the inexorably screwing-up of the tension as the music builds to the central D major section.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2008 ****

“Both sets of Inventions receive exceptional performances, bursting with spirit and imagination. …[in the Partita] … Janine Jansen's…playing is remarkable for its sense of continuity and feeling for the long line. Her Corrente and Giga have a joyful élan...” Gramophone Magazine, Janurary 2008

Decca - 4759081

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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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BIS - BIS2033

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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

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

ECM New Series - 4764826

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Viola Recital: Maxim Rysanov

Viola Recital: Maxim Rysanov


Brahms:

Sonatensatz (Scherzo from the F.A.E. sonata), WoO 2

(arr. Rysanov)

Bridge:

Pensiero

Allegro appassionato (H82)

Enescu:

Konzertstück for viola & piano

Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major

(viola part arr. Rysanov)

Glinka:

Viola Sonata in D minor

Tabakova:

Whispered Lullaby


Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Evelyn Chang (piano)

“My rival has arrived!” Yuri Bashmet on Maxim Rysanov

Maxim Rysanov is re-defining the art of viola playing for a new generation. This Ukrainian-born, London-based artist is, quite simply, one of the world’s finest and most charismatic viola players. “Romantic expression”, says Rysanov, is the thread that unites the half-dozen works on his solo debut disc with Taiwanese pianist Evelyn Chang. Spanning the better part of two centuries, all of the works on this recording stem from a particular romantic – or romanticized – perspective. And if anyone can coax the kaleidoscopic aspects of romance out of the viola it’s Maxim Rysanov, whether in Brahms’ vivacious FAE Sonata, Enescu’s robust Concert Piece, or Glinka’s delicate Sonata. The two movements by Frank Bridge exhibit the composer’s own skill on the instrument, to which Franck’s Sonata lends its romantic ardour perfectly. The disc’s “encore” is an enchanting miniature written for Rysanov by Bulgarian-born, London-based Dobrinka Tabakova.

Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, 7 - 9 August 2006

“…Rysanov makes out an excellent case for taking up the Franck A major Sonata, his arrangement judiciously steering a middle course between the violin and cello versions, but gaining an extra degree of richness of tone in the upper registers. The other items are no less striking. ...Rysanov and Chang achieve wonderfully veiled colours in both the Glinka Sonata and Dobrinka Tabakova's haunting Whispered Lullaby.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2007 *****

“One feels that Maxim Rysanov has a very special relationship with his Guadagnini viola, delighting in bringing out the particular qualities of its different registers - husky lower notes, brilliant high ones which, however, retain weight and intensity. He's well matched by the energy and vitality of Evelyn Chang's playing, strikingly so at the start of the CD (Brahms).” Gramophone Magazine, June 2007

“If you have the initial impression that this is a motley collection of pieces, lacking focus, do think again. For one thing, it makes an effective recital programme, the items setting one another off, leading up to the major work (Franck) and concluding with a perfect encore (Tabakova).
And the playing, in its technical command and imaginative grasp, is outstanding. One feels that Maxim Rysanov has a very special relationship with his Guadagnini viola, delighting in bringing out the particular qualities of its different registers – husky lower notes, brilliant high ones which, however, retain weight and intensity. He's well matched by the energy and vitality of Evelyn Chang's playing, strikingly so at the start of the CD (Brahms). On the following tracks (Glinka), she shows very different qualities; sparkling passagework and elegant lyrical expression, and she's equally convincing with the impressionistic sonorities of the Enescu.
Throughout the disc, the attention is constantly grabbed by powerfully expressive duo playing. Rysanov appears as a true virtuoso in the Enescu and in the second of the Bridge pieces, yet he's able to scale down his performance for the intimate, dreamy Tabakova Lullaby, and in the Glinka he brings a subtly individual quality to each melodic phrase. And there's a strong sense that Chang and Rysanov really enjoy playing together.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2007

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - August 2007

Avie - AV2111

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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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BIS - BIS1893

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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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BIS - BIS2030

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Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 4 & 5

Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 4 & 5

transcribed for viola


Bach, J S:

Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV1007

transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones

Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV1010

transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones

Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV1011

transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones


The young violist Maxim Rysanov makes his debut on BIS with three of Bach’s suites transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones.

Recognised as one of the world’s finest and most charismatic viola players, Maxim Rysanov performs worldwide as a concerto soloist and chamber musician. Rysanov is a past recipient of both the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year and the BBC New Generation awards and is a prizewinner of the Geneva International Music Competition and Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition among others. Originally from the Ukraine, he studied with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and with John Glickman in London, his adopted home town.

“Rysanov eschews both puritan authenticity and inappropriate Romantic emoting. His phrasing pays due acknowledgement to the suites' dance roots.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 *****

“Rysanov really claims the music for his lush-toned 1780 Guadagnini viola in a manner that few can rival...He gives a spring to the dance rhythms that sounds spontaneous, irresistibly so...No admirer of great viola playing should forgo the pleasures of Rysanov’s playing.” Sunday Times, 22nd August 2010 ****

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BIS - BISSACD1783

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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 ****

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