Michelle Makarski: Elogio per un’ombra (ECM New Series 1712)


Michelle Makarski
Elogio per un’ombra

Michelle Makarski violin
Thomas Larcher piano
Recorded May 1999, Radio DRS, Zürich
Engineer: Stephan Schellmann
Produced by Manfred Eicher

For her second ECM recital, Michigan native Michelle Makarski has assembled an equally disparate yet harmonious program. The endlessly fascinating Caprice Variations (1971) of George Rochberg (1918-2005) continue where they left off on the violinist’s label debut, Caoine, twirling into a sonic thread between the two. Makarski is a particularly sublime interpreter of Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), whose music is the window into all that borders it. His Sonata VII in A minor is spread throughout in large bites, each gnawing on the succulent Sarabanda at their core. Its lilting cadences and finely executed trills capture our melodic eye from note one to none. The Due Studi (1947) of Luigi Dallapiccola (1904-1975), an early Italian devotee of the Second Viennese School, share Tartini’s affinity for deconstruction. Here, Makarski is joined by Thomas Larcher on piano for added color. The album’s title piece, written in 1971 by Goffredo Petrassi (1904-2003), carries us through a gentle introduction and softly piercing high notes into a conduit of agitations and protracted statements. Though delicate in its tension, it nonetheless requires lucid virtuosity. Elliott Carter balances this out with a Riconoscenza (1984) for the same composer. Larcher returns for the Due Pezzi (1951) of Luciano Berio (1925-2003). These are more playful, if naïve, pieces with enough neo-classical flint from which to strike an adequate fire. Makarski then graces us with the anonymous Lamento di Tristano of 14th-century Italy, played sul ponticello for a rather metallic slide into finality.

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