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Lawrence Schenbeck
PS Tracks, April 2013

[Rihm is] very prolific and, to judge from what’s on this album, well worth listening to…Yang and pianist Nicholas Rimmer offer works completed between 1971 and 2006, including the world premiere recording of Über die Linie VII. © 2013 PS Tracks Read complete review

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, March 2013

These five pieces cover the years 1972–2006.

Performances of the difficult music are outstanding. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Marcus Karl Maroney, January 2013

The present disc is a fascinating survey of [Rihm’s] works featuring violin alone and in duo with piano…

The two works from the 1970s on the disc, Hekton and Eine Violinsonate make for satisfying listening…they present fascinating gestures in counterpoint between the two players. The two-fold structure of Hekton provides a satisfying frame to hang onto…Hekton also has the most interesting ending…Eine Violinsonate has an arresting, invigorating middle section that represents the most lively music on the disc.

Tianwa Yang is clearly an extremely talented and devoted violinist, and gives each work on the program her all. She has a lovely tone, plays technical passages with bravura, and floats the many…high sustained notes with perfect intonation. In the works with piano, Nicholas Rimmer produces a wonderful range of colors and contorts, contracts and bangs appropriately. So, for listeners looking for a documentation of an important living composer’s works for solo and accompanied violin, this disc will be of good service. © 2013 Read complete review

Barry Witherden
BBC Music Magazine, January 2013

You could scarcely do better than this CD…Tianwa Yang and Nicholas Rimmer sound quite at home, even in the most difficult passages, and imbue these works with emotion, as well as meeting their technical challenges with aplomb…yet again, Naxos deserves praise for making contemporary music accessible at reasonable cost, and through excellent performances. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2013

Born in Germany in 1952, Wolfgang Rihm is one of today’s most prolific and admired composers, this disc containing his complete works for violin and piano. Although very much at the cutting-edge of modernity, and one of the names most frequently encountered in contemporary music festivals, he is a composer who fascinates with his use of sound textures. Often rather sparse in texture and frequently slow moving, the first appearance of a fast tempo in Phantom und Eskapade also marks an abrupt change from atonality to a moment of tonality. Composed around same time, Antlitz (Countenance) is in a similar style, the exchange between instruments of a well-spaced and inward-looking quality. Rihm’s earliest completed score in this genre, Hekton from 1972, was hard-edged and often punctuated by densely hammered piano chords, its short length coming to an unresolved conclusion. The Violin Sonata went through a gestation period, the work eventually coming to rest in 1975. Essentially a score for solo violin high in the register, the piano interjections arriving as isolated chords, its mood cold and not seeking affection. The most recent score, and the most extended, dates from 2006 and is for solo violin, Uber die Linie VII looking towards the lyric aspects of the instrument, and in so doing also heads back towards the time of tonality. The works do not call for an outgoing show of technical virtuosity, but you feel that the young violinist, Tianwa Yang, has an affinity with this music, while in Nicholas Rimmer she has a highly experienced partner. Excellent sound quality. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

Andrew Morris
International Record Review, December 2012

The astounding technique of Yang and Rimmer bring these pieces vividly to life. My impression of Yang as a blisteringly incisive and stylish musician is only bolstered by this recital and she’s well served by Naxos’s clear recording. © 2012 International Record Review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2012

For this recording the considerable efforts and artistic panache of Tianwa Yang (violin) and Nicholas Rimmer (piano) were enlisted. They do a very commendable job negotiating the twists and turns of music that sometimes sounds quite difficult to play. In the process they manage to put each work in a bright, dramatic light for us to appreciate.

This is high modernist fare, fully abstract for the most part and exciting to hear.

The Phantom und Eskapade…has a vibrant sonority and a periodicity that identifies it readily as in a concertante style.

Hekton…is relatively brief but filled with turbulently invigorating sound events that demand precision and passion from the players. Yang and Rimmer handle it all with fluidity and a gracefully dynamic presence.

Antlitz…has quiet subtlety and repose, punctuated by expressive outbursts that help frame the tenor of the work.

Eine Violinsonate…concentrates on the violin’s heroic potential to soar melodically and exultantly into realms of pitch and velocity, to enter special musical universes all its own…it is in concertante style, with brilliant violin writing that Tianwa Yang attacks with impressive energy and verve.

The final work, Uber die Linie VII…is for violin alone. Once again Yang takes the work on beautifully.

Rihm is one of our most important present-day modernists and this disk shows him in an excellent light. The dedicated musicality of Yang and Rimmer bring the works alive in all the right ways. The music covers a wide period of Rihm’s output. Each work is significant, essential Rihm. An impressive recording! © 2012 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

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