Review by Audiophile.no March 15, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|Erling Sunnarvik plays double bass, and the release Excursion has music with a wide range of composers. Time-wise it ranges from baroque to contemporary music, but without the whole disc suffering at because of that.
We start with Henry Eccles, who has written a Sonata for cello and piano a little further out in the 1700s. It is a sonata with surprising romantic character, and Erling Sunnarvik have in my ears as well as the most romantic interpretation of those I have access to. Largo and Adagio are beautiful, and performed incredibly nice by Sunnarvik. Allegro Con Spirito is probably the only one of the movements that have baroque tendencies, while the last movement Vivace appears as a somewhat peculiar composition for double bass - a bit like trying to dance twist with an elephant.
From next century Sunnarvik obtained compositions of Glinka and Tchaikovski, and perform four songs for bass, mezzo-soprano and piano. Here he is playing with Annika Skoglund and pianist Nils Lundstrom.
Franz Anton Hoffmeister worked in Vienna from ca. 1780, and wandered among Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven eventually. Among many chamber works he wrote this string quartet that Sunnarvik here makes a great performance of with Aslak Juva or Vegard Johnsen on violin, Stig Ove Ose on viola and Hans Josef Groh on cello. The work is not dated, but instincts indicate that we're about to round the turn of the century?
One of the real highlights of this Excursion is Prayer, the first part of a suite called From Jewish Life. It was originally written for cello and piano in 1924/25, but here's a version transcribed for cello and five strings, arranged by Nils Lundstrom. A stunningly beautiful melody, which here takes on a different character than the original line.
The other highlight for me is also the most modern composition - Excursion For Double Bass And Piano by Arne Hellan, consisting of three Promenades. It was commissioned by Erling Sunnarvik, and premiered in 1991. Moderately modern, considered the dating. And while a little devious at a rather low-key way.
Like Colores which I reviewed a short while ago , also part of Excursion is recorded in Sofienberg Church, with the remainder recorded in Ris Church. Soundwise there are still two major differences between these two recordings. In addition to the Excursion is a Stereo-only SACD, Thomas Wolden has chosen to give the reverb a little less space in the sound. This also ensure more timely dissemination of music. There is otherwise a great and transparent reproduction of the Excursion, which are my recommendations as an interesting release for a solo instrument that is not too large supply of releases.
This time around I also want to highlight an unusually appealing and great cover with beautiful main pcture and booklet. It is my opinion that SACDs and CDs should have a package that lets you get a good feeling sitting with the record in your hand, and in our times where record sales are at a critical stage, it becomes even more important. Here Lawo Classics is generally skilled, and have understood that Digipack is the most attractive packaging a CD may have. And this time, it was particularly good.
This revierw was originall written and published by me at www.Audiophile.no, in january 2014.
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