Graham Wood (violin)
David Bollard (piano)
$23 (Australian dollars)
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|An engaging collection of violin works, some chosen as they are part of the national violin syllabus in Australia.|
|Antonin Dvorák||Ballade, Op. 15|
|Emil Mlynarski||Mazurka, Op.7|
|Henri Wieniawski||Chanson Polonaise, Op.12/2|
|Henri Wieniawski||Obertass, Op.19|
|P. I. Tchaikovsky||Barcarolle, Op. 37a/6|
|Arthur Benjamin||Five Negro Spirituals|
|Max Reger||Three Pieces, Op.79d|
|W. A. Mozart||Sonata in E minor, KV60|
|Fritz Kreisler||Minuetto (after Porpora)|
|Fritz Kreisler||Preghiera (after Martini)|
|Fritz Kreisler||Allegretto (after Boccherini)|
|Anyone wishing to study these works could not be directed to a finer disc. Wood produces a nice warm tone, uncoloured by excessive vibrato, and with a purity of intonation that only falters in the Mlynasrski. His interpretations are equally unfettered by idiosyncrasies, and, on the highest level, these are performances to admire.|
The Strad. 1996
While it is perfectly enjoyable as a recital by itself… it is also valuable for unearthing so many delicious pieces for this ensemble that could well substitute the regularly recycled warhorses in any violin and piano recital.… I would personally have preferred it if thew violin were to have been more distantly recorded, but the ultra-sensitivity of David Bollard's playing and the full-hearted ripeness of Graham Wood's violin playing make for unalloyed delight.
Soundscapes November/December 1994
Though Wood and Bollard play everything beautifully, I am most impressed with their performance of Mozart's E minor Sonata, K60. Their highly spirited reading presents a knowing picture of Mozart as a 12 year-old child. Young musicians in Australia are very lucky to have the influence of Graham Wood. I am glad this recording is available in other parts of the world, and I hope I hear some of this music played in other countries in the not-too-distant future.
American Record Guide. May/June 1996
In musical terms, Wood and Bollard clearly think as one… there is admirable unanimity of action in even the most subtle of interpretative nuances.
The West Australian. October 1994
Graham Wood and David Bollard have been sonata and chamber music colleagues for many years and their sympathetic adaptability is a mark of lasting rapport. Wood is a Grinke student and is now associate leader of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra as well as a quartet leader. Bollard, New Zealand born, also studied in London – amongst others with Kentner and Katchen – and is active as a concerto soloist and recitalist, and prominently as a member of the Australia Ensemble. In this programme, mainly selected by the violinist – ten were actually chosen by him as part of the Violin syllabus of the Australian Music Examination Board – we hear an essentially Old School recital, enlivened by the appearance of a less well known piece or two. The disc’s rationale is nostalgia and the playing is commendably intimate and suitably reflective.
Bridge’s very early Souvenir, the piece that gives the disc its title, has never struck me as anything much above salon conventionality but Wood and Bollard are nicely lyric with it. They drive into the Martinu? Impromptu with vigour, mining the skittish dance of the Andante moderato with acumen - and the motoric niceties of the concluding Allegretto moderato are equally well negotiated. I like the way they catch the drama and sweep of Dvorák’s Ballade and especially the heavy conclusive tread, tinged with a keening introspection that they evoke with such musical delicacy. If M?ynarski’s Mazurka is rather predictable and generic there’s still plenty of room for snappy rhythms and drive, as here, and the duo embark on some Polish animation equally in the Wieniawski offerings. Wood reserves greatest variation and depth of vibrato for the first of Arthur Benjamin’s Five Negro Spirituals, I’m a-trav’lin to the grave, but I most appreciated the fourth of the set, the quietly complex I’ll hear the trumpet sound – excellent colouring and sensitivity from both musicians, as well, as they explore Benjamin’s little harmonic twists and turns. They’re delightful in the Reger items – I always associate these with Busch – and in the opening of the early, little but far from insignificant Mozart Sonata they manage to catch the strange wanderings of the lyric line. Wood’s Kreisler could perhaps do with a touch more idiomatic rhythm and tonal resource but it’s a pleasing touch to end with the underplayed Syncopation.
A most enjoyable recital then; nothing grandiose about the works or the conception but instead plenty of sympathetic give and take and a fine reflection of the two musicians’ abilities.
© Jonathan Woolf
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