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Violin Rarities: Telemann, Saint-Saëns, Anton Rubinstein
4 CDs for the Price of One! - [OAR-927]
$17.98

In this set of 4 CDs, violinist Robert Murray plays rarely heard and rarely recorded (some appear only in this set) works:

Georg Philipp Telemann: 12 Fantasias for Violin without Bass (solo violin)

Anton Rubinstein: Four Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Daniel Graham, piano

Camille Saint-Saëns: Two Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Jane Abbott-Kirk, piano

Two different violins are heard on these recordings: The Giuseppe Guarneri "filius Andrea" violin made in 1700 was once owned by the Belgian violinist Henri Vieuxtemps (heard here in the first two of four Rubinstein sonatas). The even rarer violin made in 1729 by Carlo Bergonzi, of which 48 are known to exist, is heard in all of the other works.

Rubinstein: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, op. 13
Rubinstein: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, op. 19
Rubinstein: Violin Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, op. 98
Rubinstein: Violin Sonata No. 4 in D Major, op. 18

Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, op. 75
Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, op. 102

Telemann: Fantasia No. 1 in B-flat Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 2 in G Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 3 in F Minor
Telemann: Fantasia No. 4 in D Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 5 in a Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 6 in E Minor
Telemann: Fantasia No. 7 in E-flat Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 8 in E Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 9 in B Minor
Telemann: Fantasia No. 10 in D Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 11 in F Major
Telemann: Fantasia No. 12 in A Minor

Robert Murray
Robert Murray, violinist, is acclaimed for his brilliant technique and musical insight as a concert violinist. With organist Ardyth Lohuis, the Murray/Lohuis Duo has made six recordings for the Raven label of works composed for the violin and pipe organ from all periods and national styles. Leo Sowerby selected him to premiere his Fifth Sonata for Violin and Piano for the International Society of Contemporary Music. Dr. Murray’s recording of that sonata and other Sowerby compositions for violin and piano was issued by the Leo Sowerby Foundation in honor of  the composer’s centennial. Murray’s impressive performing career includes concertmaster of the Amici della Musica Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and performing with the Nashville Symphony String Quartet.

Working early in his career as a commercial musician, mostly in Nashville, he has appeared as violinist on records with such artists as Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer and Eddie Arnold under the RCA, Columbia and MGM labels. As an audio engineer, he has been involved in classical music recordings for the RCA, Musical Heritage Society, Spectrum, Premier, Raven and Vivace Classics labels.

A teacher of renown, he has been on the faculties of the University of North Colorado in Greeley (1972-78), Baylor University in Waco, Texas (1976-78), and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond (1978-2001, retired). His students frequently ranked in important violin competitions including those of the American String Teachers Association. He has served as Chamber Music Editor for the ASTA Journal and was a major contributor to their publication The Bach Chaconne: A Collection of Views.

Murray holds the doctorate in violin performance, string literature and pedagogy from Indiana University (1976) and degrees from The American Conservatory in Chicago (1959, ‘60), with graduate study at the University of Wisconsin (1964-65). He is a native of South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Reviews Audio Magazine, "These [four Rubinstein] Sonatas are really lovely. . . How do we neglect such good things?! . . . The earlier sonatas here are heavily Mendelssohnian but of a later, more lush expression as of the 1860s. The late Sonata [No. 3, Op. 98] is far closer to Brahms, a more weighty and passionate style. . . . [the] artists do an excellent and serious interpretative job. Robert Murray's violin . . . [is] highly musical, and Daniel Graham's piano full of energy, reflecting Rubinstein's own masterful pianism."

"The two [Saint-Saëns] sonatas, for equal violin and piano, are witness to the real value of the composer . . . heavyweight music, so fashionable in the concert hall, is much less effective in the confines of the living room, where this graciously Romantic music easily comes into its own. I enjoyed it. [Murray and Jane Abbott-Kirk are] a good team, working extremely well together. The recording, particularly good of the piano, brings the two instruments into exactly the right balance for the music, listenable without a bit of sonic strain. These were composed in [1885 and 1896]; old Saint-Saëns kept right at it unitl his last year, 1921."

Reviews Fanfare, "Camille Saint-Saëns was surely one of the most gifted melodists of all time. I doubt that he ever wrote an ugly or unmusical sound . . . Both [sonatas] are lovely, facile pieces of music that provide an ideal opportunity for one to refresh one's soul . . . Both works are the result of the composer's maturity, dating from his 50th and 61st years. . . . to my surprise, Heifetz plays the music [on his recording of Sonata No. 1] with a bit more reserve and at slower tempos . . . Murray's . . . greater vigor help to offset the occasional sweetness that is inherent in Saint-Saëns . . ."

Reviews Chattanooga Times, ". . . where have these divine [Telemann] pieces, written in multiple movements like sonatas but considerably more free in form, been hiding? . . . these works are a sheer delight. Written in 1735, the way these works . . . combine Baroque counterpoint and galant melody, Italian forms and French ornamentation is indeed fascinating, and highly pleasing to the ear. Violinist Murray, once a member of the Nashville String Quartet, has a fluent grasp of technique and a muscular stroke, as well as a firm, secure tone. His performances are exhilarating . . ."

Violin Rarities: Telemann, Saint-Saëns, Anton Rubinstein<BR><font color=red><I>4 CDs for the Price of One!</I></Font>
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