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Chamber Music

Music by
George Enescu,
Myroslav Skoryk,
Arno Babajanian

Igor Veligan, violin
Natsuki Fukusawa, piano

NPM LD 037
upc# 6 11226 00372 2

Durations: 69:04

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"Here is tonal and melodic music with wide-ranging sounds, which are often breathtakingly beautiful, sometimes exciting, and invariably pleasurable and satisfying. It is all beautifully played and well recorded. Both soloists have extensive international careers." [...]
Classical Net - Copyright © 2014 by R. James Tobin

George Enescu
(1881-1955), the well-known Romanian composer, pianist, violinist, conductor, and teacher created in his Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in A Major, Opus 25 “Dans le caractère populaire roumain” a wildly fascinating impression of the lively, mysterious, passionate, and colorful Romanian character. Composed in 1926 and the most popular of his three violin sonatas, Enescu himself recorded it with the formidable Dinu Lipatti at the piano.

As in his
Romanian Rhapsodies of 1901-2, Enescu brings influences of Romanian folk music to this piece. He weaves original melodies that suggest the folk culture of his home, using “Gypsy” fiddle techniques to realize their flavors. His use of extensive ornamentation, quarter-tones, chromaticism, complex rhythms and textures, and unusual bowing instructions all combine to create the Gypsy effect. Enescu gives the pianist extensive glissandi, ostinati, and creative pedaling techniques to make for unusually vivid counterpoint, color, and texture. The listener even hears a dulcimer-like sound emanating from the piano. The three-movement sonata sounds remarkably improvised throughout although it is tightly constructed. The first movement, Moderato malinconico demonstrates a rather sophisticated sonata form and is both rhapsodic and magical, yet mysterious. The fragmented musical phrases often dwell in the dark shadows, emerging with color and light seemingly looking for resolution. The recapitulation of the opening material is generously embellished and interestingly disguised. The second movement, Andante sostenuto e misterioso is meditative and plaintive, and at its climax, sorrowful and wailing, utilizing vocal inflections and shrill sounds. It is dramatic and fulfilling. The rustic last movement, Allegro con brio, ma non troppo mosso dances lightly at first, and later in a frenzy, bringing the piece to a fantastically dramatic conclusion.

Ukrainian composer,
Myroslav Mykhaylovych Skoryk, was born in 1938. A serious composer of concert music, including two violin concerti, two piano concerti, a cello concerto and symphonic music, he is an accomplished pianist/performer, professor of composition, and composer of film music. He also works well in the Jazz and Popular idioms. His chamber and solo output are quite varied, including piano music, string quartets, a piano trio, clarinet and wind music, violin and piano music, and two sonatas for violin and piano. His notable teachers include Dmitry Kabalevsky, as well as professors Liudkevych, Simovych, and Soltys in Russia and Ukraine.

Skoryk’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 was composed in 1989. This gestural piece holds much emotion in its three movements, at times free and quiet, then building to sonorous climaxes. Although this music is distinctly original, influences seem to come from Shostakovich, as well as the Jazz idiom, and at times there may even be heard a suggestion of Beethoven. With a quasi-parlando style unfolding of motives, Skoryk’s creative process is inspired by the interplay of the two instruments, leading to effective development throughout the music.

Arno Babajanian (1921 -1983) is still a somewhat mysterious and intriguing composer from Armenia. A pianist himself, he toured Russia and Europe extensively while working as a composer in many genres. In 1971 he was named People’s Artist of the Soviet Union and his face even appeared on a postage stamp. His music has everything from Romanticism to Barbarism and his use of folk material and complex meters and rhythms shows his music to be fresh and progressive. His coloristic sense is extraordinary and his music is, at times, profoundly beautiful.

Babajanian’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, loved by violinists and pianists who are lucky enough to know it, is a remarkable work that was composed in 1959. A three-note motive works its way through all the movements with clarity and sureness. The dramatic opening movement, marked Grave, struggles to reveal itself at first, soon finding its forward motion. Ominous undertones eventually melt into a vast sea of tranquility. The pizzicato idea first heard here reveals itself more fully in movement two, Andante, where the flavor is exotic and pungent. Here he follows slow music with extremely fast music for a completely unexpected and strangely powerful outcome. The music extinguishes itself in the end like a candle’s flame. The final movement, Allegro, is a fiery ritual dance with constantly changing meter. It fully exploits the three-note idea to great dramatic effect. A nervous tension gives way to a brilliant and explosive idea that is later interrupted by a deeply poetic utterance, reminiscent of music heard earlier. Subsequently, it strives to find its energy, boldly carrying the listener to a brilliant and rhapsodic conclusion.

2013 Richard Cionco

track samples - 60 sec.

    Sonata No. 3 for Piano and Violin     George Enescu

1. I Moderato malinconico

2. II Andante sostenuto e misterioso

3. III Allegro con brio, ma non troppo

    Sonata No. 2 for Piano and Violin     Myroslav Skoryk

4. I “Word” Moderato con moto

5. II “Aria” Andante con moto

6. III “Burlesque” Vivo

    Sonata for Piano and Violin
    Arno Babajanian

7. I Grave; Allegro energico

8. II Andante sostenuto

9. III Allegro risoluto


Igor Veligan, lecturer in violin, viola and chamber music at University of the Pacific joined the faculty of the Conservatory of Music in the fall of 2006 and teaches at American River College since 2004. He holds the Master of Arts in violin performance and chamber music from Odessa State Conservatory. His teachers included V. Lototzky, N. Burtnyak, Z. Istomina and G. Gritzenko. Mr. Veligan has studied chamber music with O. Shkarpitnuy and N. Buzanova. Mr. Veligan founded Odessa Conservatory String Quartet, which performed extensively in the Ukraine, toured in Freiburg, Germany and Tokyo and Niigata, Japan. As a chamber musician, Mr. Veligan performs extensively with Natsuki Fukasawa, L’Estro Armonico String Quartet and other chamber groups. He also has performed as a violist with the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento for the past ten years. He is an artist faculty member of Orfeo International Music Festival (Italy). As an orchestra performer, he serves as concertmaster of the San Francisco Choral Society Orchestra and Pacific Chamber Symphony. Mr. Veligan is a founder and violin/viola teacher of the Young Talents Music School. Many of his students are winners of numerous local and state competitions.

Steinway Artist
Natsuki Fukasawa’s music career has taken her throughout U.S. cities as well as to Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and China, performing at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Copenhagen’s Tivoli Concert Hall. Fukasawa has won many accolades and international prizes, including a rave review in Fanfare magazine and the Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year from the Danish Music Awards. Fukasawa’s recent highlights include a tour of Italy performing Gershwin’s Concerto in F as well as performances of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto She has also traveled recently to Ukraine, Italy, and Hong Kong for research, performances, and adjudicating. She is the pianist for the soundtrack of recently released film We Had To Go – Remembering Internment. Fukasawa serves on the artist faculty of the Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Alps, and the Calcap Chamber Music Workshop in Sacramento. She began studying piano early with her mother Takako Fukasawa and her main teachers were Fumiko Ishikawa, Mark Richman, Martin Canin, Jan Panenka, Anne Koscielny, Ferenc Rados, and violist Tim Frederiksen. She studied at the Prague Academy of Music as a Fulbright Scholarship recipient and received a Performer’s Certificate Degree. She also earned her degrees from New York’s Juilliard School and University of Maryland.

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