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Kornauth & Fuchs - Works for viola and piano

Composer Robert Fuchs
Egon Kornauth
Performer Katharina Kang Litton
Andrew Litton
Litton Duo
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2574 SACD
EAN 7318599925745
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Nov 2021
Total time 75'45

In the spring of 2020, the Covid pandemic caused turmoil in the concert diaries of most musicians, including the conductor Andrew Litton and his wife Katharina Kang Litton, principal violist of New York City Ballet. To find an outlet for their musical expression they began to explore the repertoire for viola and piano together. Having played the sonatas by Brahms they came across the music by two other Viennese composers, Brahms’ near-contemporary Robert Fuchs and his student Egon Kornauth. &&&Fuchs – who the less-than-effusive Brahms called ‘a splendid musician’ – had a long and distinguished career at the Vienna Conservatory where his other students included such composers as Mahler, Wolf, Sibelius, Zemlinsky and Korngold.

That the sonatas recorded here were composed around the same time as Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet can be hard to believe – as is the fact that Fuchs’s Phantasiestücke (composed in his 80th and final year) was contemporary with Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 1. But if they are not in any way pioneering, all three works are beautifully achieved: formally both strong and flexible, with a subtle, deeply-felt emotional colouring of their own. The Litton Duo close the recital with a piece that has a personal significance for the two – an arrangement of the Korean folk song Arirang which they received as a wedding present from Stephen Hough.
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  Egon Kornauth
  Viola Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 3 26'35
01 I. Fest und bestimmt 8'43
02 II. Langsam, sehr ausdrucksvoll 8'52
03 III. Wild und stürmisch 9'00
  Robert Fuchs
  Sechs Phantasiestücke, Op. 117 24'19
04 I. Ländler Tempo 4'10
05 II. Ruhig und ausdrucksvoll 4'22
06 III. Leicht bewegt 3'51
07 IV. Andante sostenuto con espressione 4'05
08 V. Mäßig bewegt 3'16
09 VI. Allegretto con delicatezza 4'35
  Viola Sonata in D minor, Op. 89 21'06
10 I. Allegro moderato, ma passionato 8'43
11 II. Andante grazioso 6'38
12 III. Allegro vivace 5'45
13 Arirang (Korean folk song) 2'21
  Album total 75'45
ComposerFuchs, Robert
Kornauth, Egon
ViolaKang Litton, Katharina
PianoLitton, Andrew
EnsembleLitton Duo
ArrangerHough, Stephen

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