Miriam Solovieff · Violin Recitals in France 1959-1966


This is the third volume of radio recordings issued by Meloclassic, featuring the violinist Miriam Solovieff. She never achieved quite the reputation she deserved. She made few commercial recordings. This release was carefully considered and this French radio recital has never been published before and aims to bring her artistry back into the present.

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MIRIAM SOLOVIEFF Violin Recitals in France 1959·1966

SCHUBERT: Fantasie in C Major, D 934
Miriam Solovieff ∙ violin
Julius Katchen ∙ piano

Recorded ∙ 27 September 1959 ∙ Asnières sur Oise ∙ Royaumont ∙ RTF ∙ Live Recording

BRAHMS: Violin Sonata No 2 in A Major, Op 100
YSAYE: Solo Sonata No 3 in D Minor ‘Ballade’, Op 27, No 3
VIVALDI: Violin Sonata in A Major, RV 31
MOZART: Violin Sonata in B-Flat Major, KV 454

Miriam Solovieff ∙ violin
Christian Ivaldi ∙ piano

Recorded ∙ 20 October 1966 ∙ Paris ∙ Salle Gaveau ∙ ORTF ∙ Live Recording

Article number: MC 2045
UPC barcode: 791154050767
Release date: 14 September 2020
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 75:05
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2020 Meloclassic

January 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Miriam Solovieff ∙ Violin Recitals in France 1959 & 1966
What we have are two live radio recitals, one featuring the Schubert Fantasie with pianist Julius Katchen from 1959, and a more substantial recital recorded seven years later in Paris’ Salle Pleyel with Christian Ivaldi. These are of immense value, as the commercial discography of the pianist is scant to say the least. I could only find one LP of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra under Mario Rossi, with Solovieff providing the solo part. Sadly, this has never been transferred to CD. Apparently, she recorded the three Brahms Violin Sonatas with Julius Katchen in the 1960s, but suffered a breakdown and nothing came of the venture. The collaboration with Julius Katchen in Schubert’s C major Fantasie from 27 September 1959 is the least successful of the performances here. Maybe Solovieff was having a bad hair day. The performance never takes off, remaining earthbound. It’s also flecked with intonation problems and there are one or two ungainly slides. There are no such shortcomings in the later recital from 20 October 1966. Intimate and sunny is how I would describe Brahms’ Second Sonata, and Solovieff and Ivaldi capture the character admirably. The second movement is particularly fine, where tender moments are contrasted with folk dancing. The lovely finale is one of noble sincerity. Solovieff takes centre stage for the only solo item, Eugène Ysayë’s Third Sonata, dedicated to Georges Enesco. It’s an intensely passionate reading, technically assured, with a fine sense of drama. The four-movement Vivaldi Sonata is a work I haven’t previously heard. It’s absolutely delightful. The players enter fully into its upbeat spirit. Matching phrases between the violin and piano, and idiomatic phrasing and articulation secure the performance’s success. K454 is perhaps Mozart’s best known and best loved violin sonata, where the composer gives more equality to the two instruments than in any of the other works in the genre. Like the Brahms, the mood is sunny. The slow movement is expressive and radiates warmth, and Solofieff’s phrasing is ardent and expressive. The finale is animated, fresh and life-enhancing. This release will especially appeal to violin mavens who wish to seek out rare performances by forgotten artists. I must praise Meloclassic’s new slim-line gatefold; it’s both eco-friendly and space-saving. All told, this release is a valuable and most welcome discographical addition.
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