Bloch: Viola and Piano (CD)

Move Records
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Barbara Hornung, Danaë Killian

Barbara Hornung and Danaë Killian have played as a duo for a number of years, with the viola and piano works of Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) forming the heart of their musical collaboration.

Both musicians are highly individual. A free flow of originality and freshness permeates their ensemble.

Known best for his music on Jewish cultural and liturgical themes, Bloch was an eclectic modernist composer who drew inspiration from around the globe to create his original and compelling language. His music speaks with the intensity, freshness, and variety of a force of nature.

The compositions for Viola and Piano by Jewish Swiss-born American composer Ernest Bloch range from dramatic intensity and directness to other worldly beauty. You will hear a Meditation of great depth, the exquisite simplicity of the Enfantines for Children for Piano, and sadness, hope, discord and resolution in the Suite for Viola Solo. There are optimistic Processionals to be enjoyed as well as music of compelling rhapsodic freedom. The CD concludes with a joyous and empowering Affirmation.

Danaë Killian is an Australian pianist whose performances have found regard internationally for their intense originality and rare communicative power. Her repertoire ranges across the complete solo piano music of the Second Viennese School, major polyphonic works by JS Bach, and a wealth of Australian compositions.

Barbara Hornung is an Australian violist from a large musical family. She was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra and received her Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree from the Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University in 1984.

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3.5 Stars

"The very forward recording captures every bit of wispy viola intonation, hovering around the edge of the note, of which there are a few examples, but Hornung’s playing is fresh and idiomatic. Her plangent, sometimes sobbing, tone seems authentic to the music’s Eastern European Jewish tradition, and the performers enjoy an intimate understanding. Killian also gives a tender and poised account of a solo work, Enfantines, 10 piano pieces for children. These may be simple, but Killian keeps the musical interest high with her expressiveness, such as the charming perkiness she achieves in Teasing." - Barney Zwartz

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Meditation and Processional for Viola and Piano (1951)

Enfantines: Ten Pieces for Piano for Children (1923)

Enfantines Ten Pieces for Piano for Children (1923)

Suite for Viola Solo (unfinished 1958)

Suite Hébraïque for Viola & Piano (1950)