Music in Mind: Duo Down the Danube
The Stern/Andrist Duo takes a musical cruise from Vienna to Bratislava to Budapest to Bucharest. The river carries us predictably eastward, but there is no even keel with this music. Schubert hides the greatest profundity and intimacy behind flashiness and humorously overblown grandeur in his Rondo in B Minor. Dohnányi follows the path of decadence only to arrive at childlike innocence in his Sonata in C-sharp Minor. Bartók finds opportunities for suave voice-leading in the gritty outpourings of a gypsy band in his Rhapsody No.1. Enescu's Sonata No. 3, "dans le caractère populaire roumain" demands a texture of gossamer—at first. After that, the main goal is to finish the piece without breaking the instruments or setting them on fire!