Following the success of Ben Breen’s first CD for Tall Poppies (Brahms Sonatas, TP172), he has teamed up again with veteran pianist Milton Kaye, for their second recording together. Sadly Milton Kaye has now passed away, so this CD is the last in his long legacy of contributions to the recording industry.
The music presented here is a selection of the salon music popular in the early 20th century. This music serves to present the personality and virtuosity of the performers, and each piece was often used as an encore after a strenuous recital. The works fitted well on the early twelve-inch 78 rpm discs, and these were often played on the radio. It is through these pieces that the musicians often gained a huge and devoted following.
As Milton Kaye has so often accompanied legendary violinists, such as Jascha Heifetz and Oscar Shumsky, that this music is in his blood. Australian violinist Ben Breen, a somewhat younger musician, has taken this style of music-making and made it his own. For this recording he has borrowed a gorgeous 1715 Guarneri violin which contributes significantly to the warmth of tone. His energy and virtuosity are partnered by Kaye’s understanding and experience.
Falla (arr. Kreisler) Dance No. 1 from La vida breve
Elgar Salut d’amour, op 12
Debussy (arr. Heifetz) Beau Soir
Paradies (arr. Dushkin) Sicilienne
Moszkowski (arr. Sarasate) Guitarre, op 45 no 2
Kreisler Rondino on a Theme by Beethoven
Albéniz (arr. Kreisler) Tango in D, op 165 no 2 (from España, 6 Feuilles d’album)
Kreisler Schön Rosmarin
Rachmaninoff (arr. Michael Press (1872-1938)) Vocalise, op 34 no 14
Kreisler Gypsy Caprice
Sarasate (1844-1908) Zapateado, op 23 no 2
Gershwin (1898-1937) (arr. Heifetz) “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess