Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov And Others

Weber Violin Sonatas And Piano Quartet

(Harmonia Mundi)

Loading article content

There seems to have been an outbreak of Weber recently. In October, I reviewed a CD of the woodwind concertos featuring SCO players on Linn records. In November, I reviewed a new CD recording of his symphonies on Chandos. In the meantime, the SCO and its principals have brought the concertos to the concert hall. And now, in a real find, Harmonia Mundi has issued a disc of his violin sonatas, charming little pieces, allegedly for amateurs; and indeed the violin lines, beautifully played by Isabelle Faust, are not killers. The accompaniments, dazzlingly executed on fortepiano by Alexander Melnikov, are very nippy and definitely not for beginners. The little-known Piano Quartet, in which the players are joined by violist Boris Faust and cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, is terrific, full of classical zest, but spiced at every turn with romantic colouring illustrating the Weber to come. We should hear this in concert: it's a 25-minute cracker.

Michael Tumelty