Violinist Baiba Skride introduces us to three rarities from her record collection
Arriaga String Quartet No. 3
Melos String Quartet
The Spanish composer Arriaga died really young – he was only 19. This quartet is sophisticated and beautiful. It makes you wonder, if he had lived a bit longer, what kind of pieces he would have written, or how his music would have come to life. I was searching Spotify for some new things and I thought ‘wow, this is incredible’. In the Third Quartet he uses tremolo to portray a storm; it’s very cleverly written – like a mixture between Mozart and Schubert – but the sound is fresh. It’s very classical, but with his own language.
Erdmann Symphony No. 1
Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/israel Yinon
Eduard Erdmann was born in Latvia, but taught in Germany and died in Hamburg. He has an amazing range of compositions including a solo violin sonata, which is how I came upon him. It’s modern, complex music, but it has a beautiful symphonic language. Erdmann left his teaching post in Cologne because he didn’t agree with what the Germans were doing. It affected him, and his later compositions are much darker, particularly his Symphony No. 4.
Rózsa Sinfonia Concertante
Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Philippe Graffin (violin); BBC Concert Orchestra/barry Wordsworth
Alto ALC 1274
Rózsa’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Cello is wonderful. There’s a beautiful second movement, which is a theme with variations and portrays the cello part so well. It has such beautiful melodies, is full of energy and – like his Violin Concerto
– he was influenced by his film musicmaking. If you look at his film music, its masterfulness has nothing to do with whether it was used for film or not. He was a fan of Bartók and you can hear the Hungarian influences, but he’s such an incredible composer.
Baibe Skride performs on a new album of works by Heino Eller, out now on Ondine