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Christian Euler: Viola Solo

By Christian Euler

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By Christian Euler. By Alfred Pochon, Max Reger (1873-1916), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), and Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). Classical, Solo Instrumental. Classical. Hybrid SACD. Naxos #9032160-6. Published by Naxos (NX.9032160-6).

Item Number: NX.9032160-6

Christian Euler dares to do what not many dare to do: he performs an entire hour of music for viola solo, without accompaniment. Euler's full, warm, and highly nuanced tone echoes through this demanding, yet entertaining program presenting some classics as well as several rarities. Alfred Pochon's Passacaglia was composed as a competition piece. Bach's great Chaconne for violin solo is recognizably its model, even in detail, and yet Pochon, who celebrated considerable successes as a chamber musician during the first decades of the twentieth century, finds a genuinely authentic tone for the viola. Euler's intense and rich treatment of tone transforms this work, which Pochon must have composed merely on the side, into a very special, opulent sound experience. Reger too - how could it be otherwise? - followed Bach's example and wrote a special recommendation for the viola with a total of three Solo Suites for this instrument. Christian Euler of course masters the immense technical demands with bravura. Moreover, even though the texture repeatedly is bold harmonically, his musical realization of it is very discerning, very much to the advantage of these underestimated gems. And of course Hindemith - the viola was his instrument of instruments! Ambitious in tonality, he nevertheless followed classical models until the mid-twentieth century. This release reaches a special high point with Stravinsky's Elegy, which is strictly maintained in a two-part texture and yet stylistically is situated at a very far remove from Bach or Reger. Here Stravinsky ventures into an entirely new sound cosmos displaying its unique magic particularly in the three-dimensional sound world of this Super Audio recording transmitting the finest acoustic impressions.

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