Violin Sonatas

Violin Sonatas


Frank Almond, violin
William Wolfram, piano

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Avie’s association with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has produced the holiday favourite Hansel and Gretel (AV 0050), and a critically acclaimed solo debut disc of Brahms and Schumann by the orchestra’s principal clarinettist, Todd Levy (AV 2098). Now the MSO’s leader Frank Almond steps forth with a robust recital recording of three 20th-century sonatas by composers primarily known for their mastery of the orchestra. These works by Strauss, Respighi and Janáček were all written within 30 years of each other, yet inhabit three distinct musical worlds. The early Sonata by Strauss is his last piece of chamber music; shortly afterwards he penned Don Juan and never looked back. Conversely the Respighi was written after his sweeping Pines and Fountains of Rome. The work is a relative curiosity, as is the Janáček which inhabits the composer’s familiar Czech vernacular.

Juilliard graduate Frank Almond is one of the youngest prizewinners in the history of the Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy. Prior to moving to Milwaukee, he held positions as leader of the Rotterdam and London Philharmonic Orchestras. He was also a prizewinner at the Tchaikovsky Competition, as was his collaborator William Wolfram, who also picked up medals in both the William Kapell and the Naumberg International Piano Competitions.


Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879 – 1936)
Violin Sonata in B minor, P110 (1917) (26:18)
1. I Moderato (9:09)
2. II Andante espressivo (9:16)
3. III Passacaglia. Allegro moderato ma energico (7:42)

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854 – 1928)
Violin Sonata (1921) (18:04)
4. I Con moto (4:56)
5. II Ballada: Con moto (5:03)
6. III Allegretto (2:35)
7. IV Adagio (5:20)

Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)
Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 18 (1888) (26:39)
8. I Allegro ma non troppo (10:39)
9. II Improvisation: Andante cantabile (8:02)
10. III Andante – Allegro (7:54)
Total time: 71:33

Recorded 29 – 31 July 2005, at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Producer: Evans Mirageas
Recording Engineer: Dan Gnader, eDream Studios

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