USTVOLSKAYA Violin Sonata. Duet for Violin and Piano
Evgeny Sorkin (vn); Natalia Andreeva (pn)
DIVINE ART 25182 (49:19)
This release is entitled Galina Ustvolskaya: Complete Works for Violin and Piano, but that turns out to be just two works, both fairly early. Fortunately, they are both substantial—though this is still a short disc—and typical of her austere “desk drawer” style. The Violin Sonata dates from 1952 and the Duet for Violin and Piano from 1964. By 1952, Ustvolskaya was already writing music without much rhythm, or rather, as the liner notes describe, music in 1/4 where there are no weak beats, just a succession of equally stressed quarter notes. The Duet is more varied, its seven movements embracing more varied textures and tempos, and even if the overall mood remains somber, the musical language becomes more varied, with violin harmonics adding an icy sheen to the still insistent piano lines.