Ludwig Thuille: Complete Music for Violin and Piano / Marco Rogliano

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I expect that any listener unfamiliar with the music of Ludwig Thiulle will be as pleased as I was to make his musical acquaintance. An excellent place to start is this delightful program of Thuille's music for violin and piano from Naxos, especially given the inexpensive asking price.

Ludwig Thuille (1861-1907) achieved considerable success writing for the stage; he completed four operas, the second of which was heard from Riga to Vienna and New York. However, it was chamber music that occupied him most extensively. If there is any single work in his entire output that has retained a place in the repertoire, it is his Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet in B flat major, Op. 6 (available on Naxos 8570790).

When he was sixteen years of age, Thuille met Richard Strauss, who was three years his junior, and the two remained friends for life. Despite the influence of Strauss and the important place that music-drama held for him, Thuille's writing remained, to a large degree, conservatively romantic, as can be heard here, in his Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, and the Allegro Giusto, Op. 39. Although his use of harmony is sometimes adventurous, it never unsettles the beauty and flow of the music. Its formal clarity and endless melodic invention will quickly ingratiate any music lover and soften any ill-tempered mood.

The playing of violinist Marco Rogliano and pianist Gianluca Luisi is technically and musically superb. Naxos provides great sonics. There's really nothing more to consider; you are going to thoroughly enjoy this.