William Primrose Viola Transcriptions

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Transcriptions by William Primrose for viola and piano of pieces by Borodin (Nocturne), Schubert, Beethoven, Wagner (Traüme – Wesendonk-Lieder), Paganini (La campanella), Bizet, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky (None but the lonely heart)

Reviewed by: Paul Cherry

Reviewed: November 2006
CD No: NAXOS 8.557391
Duration: 66 minutes

The reticent and introspective viola here sounds honeyed and outgoing while remaining soulful. Roberto Diaz, former principal in the Philadelphia Orchestra, turns many mellifluous phrases and dances numerous jaunty rhythms. Viola-virtuoso William Primrose (1904-82) made these transcriptions to raise the viola’s image; Diaz plays them on Primrose’s own centuries-old Amati. Robert Koenig offers fine support, and the recording is good.

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