Vladimir & Dimitri Ashkenazy – Father & Son (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 53:53 minutes | 474 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Paladino Media GmbH, Vienna
Recorded: 1–2 Sep 2012, 5 Sep 2013, Franz-Liszt-Zentrum, Raiding
“Father & Son” is the first complete album of Dimitri and Vladimir Ashkenazy as a duo internationally available. Dimitri Ashkenazy selected some of his favorite fantasies and fantasy pieces, and besides all-time hits such as Schumann’s Opus 73, there is music by the Swiss Romantic Johann Carl Eschmann to discover. A must for every music-lover!
The Ashkenazy family is so full of musical talent that I bet their pets play instruments. Dimitri Ashkenazy here reveals himself to be a talented, poetical clarinetist, with a clear tone and an affinity for the charming “fantasy pieces” of romantic composers. Whether he’s playing Schumann or a composer as obscure as Johann Carl Eschmann, Dimitri seems to be at home. No wonder: his father, Vladimir, is playing piano behind him.
One senses that Dimitri is all too happy to let his father upstage him on this album. Vladimir gets first billing on the cover, and it’s apparently Vladimir’s 75th birthday album, recorded less than two months after that milestone. There’s also an amusing — and decidedly unofficial — biography in the booklet which cracks jokes about the elder Ashkenazy’s height. It’s a loving family affair all the way.
You can hear the father digging in with relish to Carl Reinecke’s compositions, the first of which in particular seems less beholden to Brahms and Schumann than anything else on the album. You can hear the son offering his gentle take on Eschmann’s two miniatures, which are at the easygoing confluence between long Wagnerian melodies and Schubertian charm. I’d never heard of Escgmann before. The final work on the program, Robert Schumann’s own, showcases the chemistry of this family gathering.
Every single work here is called a “Fantasy piece for clarinet and piano”. Fantasies was probably the original idea for the recital, before it got usurped by the current title, Father and Son. Most of them stay well within the parameters Schumann set when he helped invent the genre, although Reinecke offers some ear-catching harmonies and the very young Carl Nielsen supplies a memorable little miniature. Niels Wilhelm Gade’s contribution affirms my suspicion that everything Gade wrote is charming.
Whether you’re a clarinet enthusiast, a traveler of romantic side-roads, or a member of the Ashkenazy fan club, you’ll appreciate this recital. The playing time is short, but the engineering is superb. –Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International
Niels Wilhelm Gade (1817–1890)
Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano op 43
1 Andantino con moto 2:28
2 Allegro vivace 2:04
3 Ballade. Moderato 4:30
4 Allegro molto vivace 2:57
Johann Carl Eschmann (1826–1882)
Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano op 9
5 Langsam 5:26
6 Romanze. Nicht zu langsam 7:54
Carl Reinecke (1824–1910)
Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano op 22
7 Allegretto. Mit Anmuth 3:13
8 Presto. Flüchtig und leicht 3:12
9 Deutscher Walzer. Molto moderato, sehr mäßig 5:07
10 Canon. Lento ma non troppo 3:31
Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)
Fantasy Piece for clarinet and piano in g minor FS 3h
11 Andante cantabile – Allegro agitato 3:31
Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano op 73
12 Zart und mit Ausdruck 2:56
13 Lebhaft, leicht 3:18
14 Rasch und mit Feuer 3:45
Dimitri Ashkenazy, clarinet
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano