Two violinists and one pianist

Violinist Ilya Gringolts embraces contemporary music side by side with the standard concert repertoire. He has also cultivated the study of historical performance practice, focusing on this instance on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. In this impeccably programmed BIS album, titled Ciaccona [BIS-2525 SACE] Bach’s Chaconne keeps company with similar works in the contemporary idioms of European composers Roberto Gerhard and Brice Pauset, including a diminutive Ciacconina composed by Heinz Holliger for Isabelle Faust.

French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard has recorded for PENTATONE before. This time he returns with a rendering of Beethoven’s monumentally challenging Hammerklavier Sonata. On the same CD, Aimard delivers a take on the Eroica Variations, a pianistic minefield in which Beethoven revisited the key melody from the finale of his Third Symphony, one which he also recaptured for his ballet The Creatures of Prometheus.  

NAXOS will soon release the latest installment in its Music of Brazil series: Heitor Villa-Lobos Complete Violin Sonatas. Featuring violinist Emmanuele Baldini and pianist Pablo Rossi, each sonata shares some influence from 20th century French music. While all three are early works, the first’s title, Désespérance (“Despair”) with its Brazilian saudade, the intensity of the second, and the complexity of the third foretell Villa-Lobos’ growth as a composer for the very instrument that he himself played and loved. The two Brazilian artists in this recording should excel in their understanding of the music of their country’s greatest composer.