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Violist Yuri Gandelsman and Pianist Ralph Votapek Explore Hindemith’s Works for Viola and Piano in New Recording

January 15, 2013 | By Blue Griffin Recording
Press Representative
A recording from Blue Griffin brings to light works for the viola by one of the champions of the German “New Objectivity” school, Paul Hindemith. Composing often for instruments with little solo repertoire, the highlights of his sizable output for the viola are presented here by two leading practitioners of their instruments: former principal viola of both the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Yuri Gandelsman, and Naumburg Award winner and gold medalist of the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Ralph Votapek.

Yuri Gandelsman has long been considered one of the leading exponent of his instrument from Russian, belonging to a category of first-tier musicians produced by the former Soviet Univon, such as Sviatoslav Richter, Olga Kagan, Natalia Gutman, Yuri Bashmet, the Borodin Quartet and the Shostakovich Quartet, with all of whom Gandelsman has collaborated. After assuming a position with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra while still a student, Gandelsman captured the first prize of the National Viola Competition before becoming principal violist of the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra and subsequently the Israel Philharmonic orchestra. Gandelsman has since been performing with the industry’s foremost artists the likes of Zubin Mehta, Georg Solti, Kurt Mazur, Raccardo Muti, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Evgeny Kissin and Shlomo Mintz.

His partner on this recording is pianist Ralph Votapek, whose career is studded with milestones that elude all but the select few. Soloist with most of America’s leading orchestra including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Chicago Symphony and the National Symphony, Votapek was winner of the Naumburg Award and has forever embedded his name in the piano world as the first Gold Medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

In addition to Hindemith’s sonatas for Viola and Piano and sonata for Solo Viola, the recording also offers Gandelsman’s own arrangement of Hindemith’s Capriccio for Violoncello and Piano, Op. 8 No. 1.

The complete tracks are as follows:

Sonate für Bratsche und Klavier, Op. 11, No. 4

01 I. Fantasie

02 II. Thema mit Variationen

03 III. Finale (mit Variationen)

Sonate für Bratsche Allein, Op. 25, No. 1

04 I. Breit

05 II. Sehr frisch und straff

06 III. Sehr langsam

07 IV. Rasendes Zeitmaß. Wild. Tonschönheit ist Nebensache

08 V. Langsam, mit viel Ausdruck

Sonate für Bratsche und Klavier (1939)

09 I. Breit. Mit Kraft

10 II. Sehr lebhaft

11 III. Sehr langsam, frei

12 IV. Finale (mit zwei Variationen)v

13 Capriccio für Violoncello und Klavier, Op. 8 No. 1 (arr. by Yuri Gandelsman)

The CD was recorded at Blue Griffin’s Studio The Ballroom in Lansing, MI on May 19-20, 2012, and produced and engineered by Sergei Kvitko. It is available at, iTunes, Amazon, as well as other online and physical retail outlets.




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