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Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, July 2016

Violinist Sohn lives up to the demands of the music. She plays with wild abandon and captures the ear of the listener. Pianist Loeb is a competent partner. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2016

It is almost a decade ago that the American violinist, Livia Sohn, embarked on a series of wide-ranging Opera Fantasies with music from the past three centuries. This one also travels across several crossroads in style, Benjamin Loeb’s hectically busy arrangement of the Prelude to Act 3 of Verdi’s I Lombardi not entirely successful, before Sohn settles into a ravishing transcription by Leopold Auer of Lensky’s poignant aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. The disc is made special by world premiere recordings of extracts from two 21st century American operas, the Valse Blanche based in themes from Daron Hagen’s A Woman in Morocco. In much the same mood of present day atonality, Jonathan Berger’s Fantasia on themes from The War Reporter, is the more pungently aggressive. Back on familiar territory, Sohn’s account of Sarasate’s Fantasy on themes from Gounod’s Faust, bristles with technical glitter as she plays pages of double-stopping with faultless intonation, before embarking on the fiendish difficulties that Sarasate brings to the character of Mephistopheles. Gluck’s Melodie from Orfeo ed Euridice, and an extract from Jeno Hubay’s La Luther de Cremone leads to Martinu’s amusing Variations on a Theme of Rossini. Passing through the popular Largo from Handel’s Xerxes, the disc ends with the duet from Act 3 of Verdi’s La forza del destino, Sohn here joined by the viola of her husband, Geoff Nuttall. I do at times find the piano of Benjamin Loeb rhythmically straightlaced, but dealing expertly with the technical challenges. There is a change of ambiance at track seven in an otherwise excellent recording. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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