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.
Ludwig Thuille, a staunch friend of Richard Strauss, was leader of the ‘Munich School’ of composers, which reflected the influence of Liszt, Wagner and Thuille’s own teacher, Rheinberger. The Violin Sonata No 1 in D, which Strauss admitted was more advanced than his own works of the time and here receives its first recording, is the latest addition to the ongoing revival of his chamber music. Dedicated to Henri Marteau, one of the greatest violinists of the age, the much later Violin Sonata No 2 in E minor reveals similar lyrical strengths. Thuille’s Piano Quintet, Op 6 and Sextet, Op 20 can be heard on Naxos 8.570790.
Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30
1. I. Allegro appassionato ma non troppo mosso (11:36)
2. II. Adagio molto (10:09)
3. III. Finale: Allegro deciso (06:26)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 1
4. I. Allegro risoluto (10:26)
5. II. Scherzo: Molto allegro - Meno mosso (2:22)
6. III. Adagio cantabile (5:25)
7. IV. Finale: Allegro di molto (5:30)
Allegro giusto, Op. 39
8. Allegro giusto, Op. 39 (5:59)
The German composer and teacher Ludwig Thuille seems to have been unjustly relegated to a footnote in accounts of the early life of his friend Richard Strauss. Thuille was born in 1861 in Bozen (Bolzano), the son of a book and art dealer, but was orphaned in childhood, with the death of his mother in 1867 and of his father in 1872.
After a very early start of his musical studies through his family (which has a long tradition of stringed instrument players), Marco Rogliano got his Violin degree at the “S. Cecilia Conservatory” in Rome (where he was born in 1967) under the guidance of Antonio Salvatore. Particularly meaningful for his interpretative education has been his following work at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Ruggiero Ricci.
Gianluca Luisi was already fascinated from the piano when he was 3 years old, so his parents understanding his outstanding talent, gave him the possibility to study and so he began to have piano lessions at the age of 6. He has a very wide and interesting Repertoire and he recently played by heart, in 2 concerts, the Complete Cycle of the Well Tempered Clavier of J.S.Bach at the Conservatory of Bologna (Sala Bossi).
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