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Scharwenka: Complete Chamber Music Import, Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Import, Original recording reissued, December 10, 2002
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Scharwenka: Complete Chamber Music + Scharwenka: Piano Concertos
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Product Details

  • Performer: Seta Tanyel, Garbis Atmacayan, Colin Carr, Ivo-Jan van der Werff, Lydia Mordkovitch, et al.
  • Composer: Xaver Scharwenka
  • Audio CD (December 10, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B00006RHQF
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Trio for piano, violin & cello No 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1: Adagio sostenuto - Allegro con brio
2. Trio for piano, violin & cello No 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1: Andantino quasi Allegretto
3. Trio for piano, violin & cello No 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1: Scherzo: Vivace
4. Trio for piano, violin & cello No 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1: Finale: Allegro molto quasi presto
5. Sonata for violin in D minor, Op 2: Adagio sostenuto - Allegro appasionato
6. Sonata for violin in D minor, Op 2: Romanze: Andante con moto
7. Sonata for violin in D minor, Op 2: Finale: Presto agitato
8. Sonata for cello in E Minor, Op 46a: Allegro ma non troppo
9. Sonata for cello in E Minor, Op 46a: Andante
10. Sonata for cello in E Minor, Op 46a: Vivace ma non troppo
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 37: Allegro moderato
2. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 37: Adagio
3. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 37: Allegro vivace
4. Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 37: Allegro con fuoco
5. Trio for piano, violin & cello in A minor, Op. 45: Allegro non troppo
6. Trio for piano, violin & cello in A minor, Op. 45: Adagio
7. Trio for piano, violin & cello in A minor, Op. 45: Molto allegro
8. Trio for piano, violin & cello in A minor, Op. 45: Allegro con fuoco

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on March 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Polish composer Francis Xaver Scharwenka is perhaps best known (if at all) for some wonderful piano concertos. For the most part, he, (as a composer), has sunk into obscurity. This 2 disc set at a bargain price from Hyperion with Scharwenka's complete chamber music certainly proves that he along with his chamber works don't deserve to be in total obscurity. I found the works to be splendidly harmonious and melodic being some lovely romantic works that sound very much like late Mendelssohn and/or early Brahms. The album consists of 3 piano trios; Sonatas for piano and violin and cello, a Piano Quartet and a very late Serenade for violin and piano that is lovely.

The Piano Quartet is full of wonderful melodies and harmonies with each instrument allowed a chance to really "shine" not just the piano as perhaps might be expected due to the fact that Scharwenka was a well known pianist. It is an achingly GORGEOUS work that deserves to be heard more often! I especially adored the Sonata in D minor for violin and piano. It reminded me a lot of Mendelssohn being filled with "catchy" melodies, rhythms and harmonies. The performers on these two discs sound as if they are very committed playing with wonderful tone and spirit. The recorded sound is great too!

If you love romantic chamber music, as I do, you really can't do much better than these discs.
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Format: Audio CD
This Hyperion Dyad twofer was originally published as two separate discs in the mid-1990s. It is now available at mid-price and worth every penny, at least for those who can't get enough of well-made 19th-century chamber music partaking of the kind of procedures made familiar by that arc that goes from Schubert through Mendelssohn and Schumann and culminating in Brahms. Not bad company to keep, I assume most would agree.

The two discs comprise five works--all that Scharwenka ever wrote--from his Opus 1 Piano Trio No. 1 to his late Serenade for Violin and Piano, Op. 70. Scharwenka was a piano virtuoso and each of the works includes a piano part, played here with real musicianly subtlety, grace and brio by the very fine Turkish pianist Seta Tanyel, who has made lauded recordings of much of Scharwenka's solo piano music for this label. The two earliest pieces--the Piano Trio, Op. 1, and the Violin Sonata, Op.2--were written while he was still a student at Theodor Kullak's Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in Berlin, at age 19. They are distinguished by meticulous craftsmanship, Mendelssohnian lightness, confident counterpoint and memorable melodies.

The Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 37 is altogether more advanced, although still in a conservative Romantic language. It sounds more like Schumann or even early Brahms, with gorgeous melodies, formal precision and utterly seamless voice-leading and counterpoint. The second movement Adagio is a 12-minute meditation that is clearly influenced by late Beethoven slow movements. It is followed by a fleet and light third movement that makes one think again of Mendelssohn's fairy music. In the rumbustious final movement there are hints of Brahmsian Hungarian Gypsy fireworks. The Second Piano Trio, Op. 45, is also an advance on its earlier sibling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pohjola on August 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD
As you can read in the excellent notes included in this release, Scharwenka spent his musical career as a virtuoso pianist, and later as the director of two highly regarded music conservatories in Berlin and New York.

This set is a mixture of a few early, student works (Piano Concerto Op. 1 and Violin Sonata Op 2) and works from Scharwenka's maturity. The early violin sonata and Piano Trio are skillfully done, but rather foursquare, rigidly structured pieces. In the later works, I feel that Scharwenka truely comes into his own as a composer. Although all of the music recorded here exhibits almost classical musical organization, adherence to form seems effortless rather than formulaic in these late works. Melodic and Harmonic invention is at a very high level, particularly in the piano quartet where effective use is made of the three voices of the string ensemble. The Piano Quartet and late Piano Trio, in particular, strike me as being on par with similar works by Brahms in their overall musical quality. The slow movements, especially, overflow with lilting melodies and interweaving counterpoint. Mostly, this set leaves me wishing the Scharwenka had devoted more effort to chamber music.

The performances are very convincing and the recorded sound is up to Hyperion's usual high standards. Recommended highly.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Discophage TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD
It is not the first time I observe that when they wrote chamber music, many more or less "minor" romantic composers became major composers. Franck (I'm thinking here of the neglected piano trios), Lalo, Saint-Saens, Fauré, Arensky, Zarebski (see my reviews of his superb Piano Quintet, Juliusz Zarebski & Grazyna Bacewicz: Piano Quintets, Bruzdowicz: String Quartets No. 1 "La Vita" & No. 2 "Cantus Aeternus" / Zarebski: Piano Quintet) are some that come immediately to mind, and I haven't researched specifically; there are many still that I have to hear, like those of Volkmann, whose Symphonies I greatly enjoyed, or Herzogenberg.

So: Xaver Scharwenka. Untill now, Scharwenka (don't confuse Xaver and his older brother Philipp, also a composer) was for me that composer of piano concertos that I never cared to listen to, and that seemed to retain a place at the fringe of the repertoire as (I assumed) vehicles for the display of hollow virtuosity by digital monsters (and sometimes only that - but not always) like Michael Ponti, Earl Wild or Raymond Lewenthal in the LP era, Steven Hough or Marc-André Hamelin today. On the basis of Scharwenka's chamber music, I may have to revise my pre-conceptions.

OK, Scharwenka isn't "modern". He was born in 1850 and composed well into the 20th Century - that's late Mahler, and early Schoenberg. In his chamber music, Scharwenka is content to rest with the Schumann-Brahms model. But these are all early works, with the exception of the Serenade for violin and piano opus 70 from 1895.
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