Instrumentalist - Viola, Instrumentalist - Violin
Listening Post /Brief reviews of select releases
Rubinstein, Sonatas, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola and violin, and Jennifer Lim, piano (Edi). The great piano virtuoso Anton Rubinstein, lionized in the 19th century, was known for his compositions in his day. Now, you don't hear them much. These two sonatas are lovely. If you happened on either of them on the radio and wanted to play Guess the Composer, it would drive you crazy. You would think, OK, this isn't first rate -- but there are moments of beauty, and it's no small praise to say that the music holds your attention. An Andante begins with viola and piano both playing solo, answering each other, and then rolls into a tune that could be a movie theme. Rubinstein's gift of melody that shows in the very first measures of the violin sonata. Canadian pianist Jennifer Lim and California-born violinist Nokuthula Ngwenyama (her father was Zimbabwean) have done a great job in dusting off these pieces and presenting them with passion and conviction. They leave you thinking this music deserves a better place in the chamber music repertory. * * * 1/2
Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News
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