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CD Review

The Last Rose of Summer

  • Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894): Viola Sonata
  • Mihail Radulescu (b. 1943): Viola Sonata
  • Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962): Recitativo en Scherzo Caprice
  • Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915): Desire; Mazurka; Prelude
  • Mikhail Kugel (b. 1946): Prelude Ysaÿe
  • Evgeny Zemtsov (b. 1940): Melodia
  • Wilhelm Ernst (1814-1865): The Last Rose of Summer (Arr. Mikhail Kugel)
  • George Frideric Handel: Concerto for viola and piano; 1st movement
Mikhail Zemtsov, viola
Dana Zemtsov, viola
Irina Shishkina, piano
Rec. live, Castle Duivenvoorde, Voorschoten, Netherlands, Nov 2004
Stemra Natural Acoustics NA5001CD 73mins

This is a superior demo disc, a live recital recording which deserves not to be overlooked.

Mikhail Zemtsov is principal violist of the Hague Residence Orchestra and he has scoured the repertoire and come up with some gems. Rubinstein's sonata is thoroughly engaging and given with compelling involvement. There are several to be found on search, and it would be good to know more about this particular Radulescu, whose solo sonata is distinctive and well worth being taken on by other artists?

The Scriabin piano pieces go well in thiese viola transcriptions. The Ernst/Kugel arrangement is a substantial set of variations on The Last Rose of Summer, played with the necessary virtuosity by this accomplished violist and musician. His tone is rich and communicative in all styles and moods, and he makes the best possible case for his programme of rarities.

The CD also has an attractive Melodia by the soloist's father and a poised classical offering from Mikhail Zemtsov's viola playing 12 yr-old daughter Dana, who shows us a developed musicality and good technique in a Handel concerto movement.

A thoroughly enjoyable family disc, and its enterprising and demanding selection should attract the attention of a regular record company for future CDs by this artist.Violists who read about this one will want it, and other chamber music enthusiasts will not regret adding it to their collections.

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Copyright © 2005, Peter Grahame Woolf