EMIL FREY (1889-1946): Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 36, Suite for Piano No. 4, Op. 58, WALTER SCHULTHESS (1894-1971): Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 1, ROBERT FREUND (1852-1936): Notturno, Op. 2.
Catalogue Number: 03I056
Reference: GMCD 7292
Description: All three composers here were also esteemed concert pianists and their stylistic differences make for a well-rounded recital. The lion's share of the disc goes to Frey, with a 19-minute sonata from 1917 and a 28-minute suite from around ten years later. The sonata shows some influence of Scriabin (whom Frey knew) but without the overheated neurasthenia while the suite, which could equally be seen as a four-movement sonata, is a very distinctive work, full of dark beauty in its three slow-to-moderate tempo movements and with a hint of early Prokofiev in its scherzo. Freund's seven-minute Notturno is a timeless evocation of the stillness and mystery of night while Schulthess' 15-minute set of variations, whose essential tonality is always questioned by elements of chromaticism, builds solidly toward an impressively powerful finale. Andrew Zolinsky (piano).