I had the great pleasure recently of hearing and meeting a truly talented young violinist named Razvan Stoica. I cheekily recorded and posted a performance of his (on youTube below), which is a big "no,no!" according to Krystian Zimerman. But I felt that it would be selfish to keep the experience to myself and it wasn't a concert, but a gallery opening. There is a quote from Razvan Stoica's website, which I think aptly describes him:
“Discerning charm and ravishing timbre, breathtaking technical bravura, sparkling intonation…he will become one of the greatest violinists of his generation.” “meunsteriche zeitung”.
In this post, I feature a brilliant recording of Fratres for violin and piano by Arvo Pärt.
Fratres, originally for chamber orchestra, is undeniably, Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt´s (b.1935) most popular work and exists in well over a dozen versions in a variety of instrumentations.
The version for violin and piano is one of my favourite and the recording by Razvan Stoica is sensational.
The piece consists of a set of eight or nine chord sequences, separated by a recurring percussive motif. The chord sequences follow a clear pattern, while the progressive chords explore a rich harmonic space. The first version for string quintet and wind quintet was written in 1977, with additional versions being written over the years up to 1992. The versions include: Strings and percussion; Violin, strings and percussion; String quartet; Cello and piano; Four, eight, twelve... cellos; Wind octet and percussion; String quintet; Wind quintet; Violin and piano; Viola and Piano; Saxophone Quartet; Guitar, string orchestra and percussion.
The recording of Fratres played by brother and sister Duo Stoica is amazing. I was immediately struck by the clarity and brilliance of the violin tone. The hushed silent moments are exquisitely beautiful and the build up to the climaxes is well timed and thrilling.
This appears to be the debut CD from Razvan. I am very impressed by the selection of repertoire which combines some well known pieces with some more daring ones. This bodes well for a new young artist as it shows a willingness to stick to his conviction and challenge his audience. I look forward to seeing how he develops.
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Below is the afore mentioned youTube video of Razvan Stoica playing Paganini:
Links to the recording (track 9):