All Music Guide CD Review: Volodja Balzalorsky Live in Maribor

(Thursday, January 31, 2013)  ‚Äì  All Music Guide

Review by James Leonard

Volodja Balzalorsky Live in Maribor is Volume 3 of the Volodja Balzalorsky Live Collection released by Balzalorsky’s Cantabel Productions. Slovene-born, German-Austrian-trained, and Ljubljana-based, Balzalorsky is not only a one-man production company; he is also, according to the notes, a violinist with a polished technique and a rich, warm tone with a sensitive, intelligent, and intuitive gift for interpretation. As it turns out, all this is in fact true.

Balzalorsky may be a relentless self-promoter but he is also an intelligent artist with sweet tone and a smooth technique. In this 1989 issue from the International Chamber Music Series of Maribor, Balzalorsky’s Dvorák Sonatina is delightful and soulful, his Debussy Sonata is light and ethereal, his Paganini Cantabile is ripe and tender, and his Srebotnjak Sonata No. 1 is powerful and persuasive. With the sympathetic accompaniment of German pianist Christoph Theiler, Balzalorsky’s performances are easily in the same league as many of the better international performances of the past 20 years and well worth hearing. Cantabel’s sound is raw but honest.

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