Bacewicz was the most prominent Polish female composer of the twentieth century and a renowned violinist who, by contemporary accounts, was surpassed only by Ginette Neveu and David Oistrakh. She left a legacy of over 200 compositions, many of which have never been heard in the West. The Partita was written after a long hospitalisation – the result of a serious automobile accident. Although Bacewicz’s body was immobilised, her musical mind must have been very active. She provided two versions of the work, one for orchestra and the second for violin and piano which we hear on this recording. Bacewicz’s Third Violin Sonata is one of her lesser-known pieces. Bacewicz is frequently labelled a neoclassicist, but she is much more robust and muscular in her approach than many of her contemporaries.
George Enescu was a prodigy as both performer and composer and was not yet eighteen when he completed the Second Violin Sonata. His world here is not Romanian, but rather influenced by Brahms, Franck and Fauré; however, the work still exudes a healthy respect for the tradition which he inherited.
Both Bacewicz and Enescu studied in Paris, and were professional violinists and pianists who imbued their music with a profound knowledge of their instruments, clearly demonstrated in this new recording.
“Herself a successful violinist, Bacewicz's violin works are idiomatic and stunningly effective. Lydia Mordkovitch produces ringingly authoritative interpretations: the music favours her rich, dark timbres and her capacity. The underrated Second Sonata of Enescu makes a perfectly-judged complement. Splendid performances of splendid music that deserves to be better.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 *****
“Exhilarating works from two of eastern Europe's finest violinist-composers. Mordkovitch is in fine form throughout, ably accompanied by Ian Fountain, and the sound is excellent.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008