Franck & R. Strauss: Violin Sonatas, Takemitsu: Hika Akiko Suwanai & Enrico Pace

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  • Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949): Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat, Op.18:
  • 11. Allegro, ma non troppo11:24
  • 22. Improvisation: Andante cantabile08:02
  • 33. Finale: Andante - Allegro09:04
  • Toru Takemitsu (1930 - 1996) : Hika:
  • 4Hika05:17
  • César Franck (1822 - 1890): Sonata in A Major For Violin & Piano, M.8:
  • 51. Allegretto ben moderato06:31
  • 62. Allegro - Quasi lento - Tempo 1. Allegro08:21
  • 73. Recitative - Fantasia. Ben moderato - Largamente - Molto vivace07:50
  • 84. Allegretto poco mosso06:13
  • Total Runtime01:02:42

Info for Franck & R. Strauss: Violin Sonatas, Takemitsu: Hika

Akiko Suwanai (the youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition) and pianist Enrico Pace with a programme featuring works by Strauss and Franck. The duo will also perform Hika by Tōru Takemitsu, marking the 20th anniversary of the composer’s death.

„The orchestra seemed to wrap itself around soloist Akiko Suwanai, a wonderful player who seemed rather more wonderful with the Philadelphians framing her.“ (David Patrick Stearns,

„Suwanai was the sensation, with her overwhelming technical exhibition, which she developed naturally and with conviction in the most intricate passages. But over all, the best was her innate musicality, her delicate and detailed phrasing, with a wonderful legato in the Canzonetta, full of velvety nuances.“ (Andres Moreno Mengibar, Diario de Sevilla)

„Her commitment and dexterity proved persuasive, above all in the taxing finale.“ (Tim Ashley, Guardian)

„Warmly recorded, with excellent balance struck between the two players, the Paroisse Notre-Dame du Liban à Paris provides a sympathetic and intimate ambience. Booklet notes are in Japanese with an English track-listing and timings.“ (Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International)

Akiko Suwanai, violin
Enrico Pace, piano

Akiko Suwanai
Praised by The Times for her “noble playing, with its rhythmic life, taut and rigorous,” Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai is the youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and now enjoys a prestigious international career. The 2016/17 season sees her return to NHK Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi), Hong Kong Philharmonic (Lawrence Foster) and Hamburger Symphoniker (Jeffrey Tate). She will also tour Japan with Bamberger Symphoniker (Herbert Blomstedt) and Philharmonia Orchestra (Esa-Pekka Salonen). Other appearances include City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic and Iceland Symphony Orchestra as well as a debut with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Last season’s highlights included concerts with the Philadelphia, Finnish Radio Symphony and St. Petersburg Philharmonic orchestras, and she joined The Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev for the inaugural Mariinsky Far East Festival. Previously, she has worked with BBC Philharmonic, London Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic and Danish National Symphony orchestras and the Orchestre de Paris, and toured with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano. Other conductor collaborations include Sir Andrew Davis, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mark Wigglesworth, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Tugan Sokhiev, Yuri Temirkanov, David Robertson, Susanna Mälkki, Sakari Oramo, François-Xavier Roth and Seiji Ozawa.

Universally acclaimed for her performances of key works for the violin from composers such as Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Mendelssohn, Suwanai is also noted for the breadth of her repertoire, ranging from Bach to the contemporary works. Suwanai gave the world premiere of Peter Eötvös' Violin Concerto Seven, written for her, at the Lucerne Festival under Pierre Boulez in 2007 and since then has performed this signature work on numerous occasions across the globe, including at the BBC Proms and most recently with Gürzenich-Orchester Köln. She also gave the Japan premiere of James MacMillan’s Violin Concerto with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 2012.

Suwanai is Artistic Director of the International Music Festival NIPPON, which she launched in 2012. Past Festival highlights include Karol Beffa’s Violin Concerto with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi, and the world premiere of Eric Tanguy’s In a Dream with pianist Akira Eguchi – both of these works were commissioned by the Festival – and also the Japanese premiere of Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by the composer. The Festival also offers chamber music, masterclasses and charity concerts in aid of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Akiko Suwanai has won numerous awards, including the International Paganini Competition in Italy and the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. She studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music with Toshiya Eto; at Columbia University and the Juilliard School of Music with Dorothy DeLay and Cho-Liang Lin; and at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin with Uwe-Martin Haiberg.

Her extensive discography with Universal Music has garnered much critical acclaim and her most recent release is a recital disc of works by Frank, Strauss and Takemitsu with pianist Enrico Pace. Akiko Suwanai performs on the Stradivarius ‘Dolphin’ violin from 1714, one of the most famous violins known today and previously owned by Jascha Heifetz, which has been kindly loaned to her by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Enrico Pace
was born in Rimini, Italy. He studied piano with Franco Scala both at the Rossini Conservatory, Pesaro, where he graduated in Conducting and Composition, and later at the Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro, Imola. Jacques De Tiège was a valued mentor. Winning the Utrecht International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 1989 marked the beginning of his international career.

Since then Enrico Pace has toured extensively, performing in cities such as Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Milan (Sala Verdi and Teatro alla Scala), Rome, Berlin, London (Wigmore Hall), Dublin, Munich, Salzburg, Prague and various cities in South America. He has performed at numerous festivals including La Roque-d’Anthéron, Verbier, Lucerne, Rheingau, Schleswig-Holstein and Husum.

He has worked with among others the following conductors: Roberto Benzi, David Robertson, Andrey Boreyko, Mark Elder, Janos Fürst, Eliahu Inbal, Lawrence Foster, Kazimierz Kord, Jiří Kout, Gianandrea Noseda, Walter Weller, Carlo Rizzi, Jan Latham-Koenig, Vassily Sinaisky, Stanislav Skrowaczewski, Bruno Weil and Antoni Wit.

A very popular soloist, he has performed with many major orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Dutch Radio Philharmonic, the Netherlands Philharmonic, the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the G. Verdi Orchestra Milan and the Filarmonica Toscanini Parma.

Enrico Pace greatly enjoys chamber music and has played with the Keller Quartet, the RTE Vanbrugh Quartet, the Quartetto Prometeo and with cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, clarinetist Sharon Kam and horn player Marie Luise Neunecker. He participates regularly in chamber music festivals and has visited Delft, Moritzburg, Risør, Kuhmo, Montreux, Stresa and West Cork.

Recent and forthcoming highlights include(d) engagements with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Hungarian National Philharmonic, the Göteborg and London Symphony Orchestras, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the Rheinische Philharmonie; the Beethoven Sonata cycle with Leonidas Kavakos in among others New York (Carnegie Hall), Athens, Florence, Milan, Amsterdam, Moscow and Tokyo and at the Salzburg Festival and the Beethovenfest Bonn, as well as further duo recitals in the USA, Europe and China; Bach Sonatas with Frank Peter Zimmermann in among others New York, Amsterdam, Zürich, Frankfurt, Bamberg and Japan; a performance at the Scala in Milan of Schubert’s Schwanengesang with Matthias Goerne; recitals with viola player Antoine Tamestit in Zürich, Frankfurt and Cologne; recitals with Akiko Suwanai in Japan; recitals with cellist Sung-Won Yang in Korea and Japan, and solo recitals in among others the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Herkulessaal in Munich.

Enrico Pace enjoys on-going partnerships with violinists Leonidas Kavakos, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Liza Ferschtman. With Mr. Kavakos and cellist Patrick Demenga he recorded the piano trios by Mendelssohn (Sony Classical). And his recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for piano and violin with Mr. Kavakos was released by Decca Classics in January 2013. With Mr. Zimmermann he recorded the Busoni violin sonata no. 2 and the six Sonatas for violin and piano BWV 1014-1019 by J.S. Bach for Sony Classical.

In 2011 the label Piano Classics released his highly praised solo recording of the Années de pèlerinage “Suisse” and “Italie” of Franz Liszt.

This album contains no booklet.

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