Barbara Westphal, Christian Ruvolo: Convergences

review convergence x1 cong

It’s early Saturday morning, the children are fighting, the washing machine is on and you’re trying to make some breakfast for the warring siblings.
How do you extract some peace from a noisy morning?
This latest recording from viola virtuoso Barbara Westphal might be the answer. She and pianist Christian Ruvolo perform viola transcriptions she has made of what are said to be Brahms’s great sonatas for violin and cello.
It’s calming and tranquil, played in a romantic style. It is slightly sharp, but this gives it an edge that purely background music would not have.
The edge comes from the vaguely melodramatic strings, the piano contributing a restrained and gentle counter. Without the viola, the piano would be a bit Goldberg Variations, minimalistic in sound.
In addition, Westphal and Ruvolo give the world premiere recording of Andrea Clearfield’s  Convergence, a new composition written for the duo. This fits in with well with the older music, seeing the piano becoming edgier and the voila moving from Renaissance Europe to the Middle East. Out on Bridge Records (Bridge 9442).

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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