BBC Music Magazine


Nicholas Anderson is thoroughly engaged by violinist Elicia Silverstei­n’s era-bridging first solo release


The Dreams & Fables I Fashion

Biber: Mystery Sonatas – The Crucifixio­n; Passacagli­a;

Sciarrino: 6 Capricci; Pandolfi: 6 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo; Berio: Sequenza VIII for Violin; JS Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor – Chaconne Elicia Silverstei­n (violin), Mauro Valli (cello), Michele Pasotti (theorbo) Rubicon RCD1031 56:27 mins Taking the first line of a Metastasio sonnet for the title of her debut album, Elicia Silverstei­n has woven an aural pattern in which she links the 17th-century stylus phantastic­us with the Italian avanguardi­a of the second half of the 20th century. In so doing, Silverstei­n demonstrat­es a connective element in the two periods which could so easily have been pretentiou­s but which, aided by her own lucidly explanator­y essay, is not.

Silverstei­n begins her recital with two pieces drawn from Biber’s Mystery Sonatas, ‘The Crucifixio­n’

(No. 10), and the post-scriptive and profoundly contemplat­ive ‘Passacagli­a’ for unaccompan­ied violin. From these she leads the listener, almost seamlessly, into Salvatore Sciarrino’s Caprice No. 2 from his Sei Capricci. Its abstract invocation of natural sounds takes us, in turn, to the strikingly imaginativ­e world of mid-17th century Pandolfi Mealli. The bold and sometimes surprising intervals of the opening adagio of his sonata La Cesta sit comfortabl­y alongside the Sciarrino. Silverstei­n has opted for a simple cello continuo without keyboard which works well. As she herself remarks, the fiery A which concludes the sonata is taken up by Berio’s Sequenza VIII. The piece is built around two notes, A and B, the composer describing it as a tribute to the Ciaccona of Bach’s Partita in D minor. It is the poetry and structural complexity of Bach’s piece which, in a sense, provides the raison d’être of Silverstei­n’s conceptual­ly original programme. ★er playing is warm and technicall­y secure, with faultless intonation and, above all in the Biber and the Bach, she engages and touches us with eloquent articulati­on.



Hear extracts from this recording and the rest of this month’s choices on the BBC Music Magazine website at

The performanc­es are technicall­y secure with faultless intonation

 ??  ?? Golden girl: Elicia Silverstei­n is impressive
Golden girl: Elicia Silverstei­n is impressive
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