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David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2009

The second disc in a series of Sinding’s works for violin and piano continues my fervent recommendation for performances that may never be surpassed. Little known today apart from the famous piano piece, Rustle of Spring, the German-trained Norwegian composer wrote in many genres. Much of it has been gathering dust, and it was to the National Library in Oslo that the two young performers turned their attention. There they were to discover many attractive salon works included on the two discs, though here the main work is the Sonate I’m alten Stil, one of Sinding’s more extensive chamber scores. It is unusual in being divided into five movements of similar length, the second being one of the most intrinsically beautiful moments in 20th century music, while the finale is unusual in having unaccompanied violin passages. Following in Chopin’s footsteps the Ballade is dramatic, and at times highly charged, and contrasts with Abendstimmung, a lyric and rather yearning piece that marked Sinding’s last work for violin. Henning Kraggerud’s Guarneri violin sings so exquisitely for him in the two Romances and the quiet Elegy, his use of dynamic contrasts, flawless intonation and obvious love of the music all contributing to a very special release. To fill out the disc the poetic pianist, Christian Ihle Hadland, has included an exquisitely played Rustle of Spring. Nicely balanced recording.

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