GMCD 7125 – Salut d’Amour
Andrezj Kowalski – Violin, Rudolf Lutz – Piano
Soundscape Magazine Australia Summer 1997
Salut d’Amour is the fanciful title of a new release on the English Guild label featuring violinist Andrzej Kowalski and pianist Rudolf Lutz in a program of Romantic miniatures for this time-honoured pairing of instruments. Literally hundreds of these types of CD’s exist, and with many contemporary marketing strategies designed to lure the ‘music to suit a mood’ market, the competition is somewhat formidable.
This notwithstanding, Kowalski and Lutz are every bit as marketable as their colleagues, and these refreshing performances will see them at the top on any invitation list for afternoon tea or any other such ritualistic ceremony requiring a touch of 19th century refinement. Mandatory inclusions such as the ‘Méditation’ from Thaïs are full of exotic charm, and even the ubiquitous Boccherini Menuetto manages to sound appealing. The also-compulsory Dvorák Humoresque squeezes through the door with the obligatory blithe spirit, and Raff’s Cavatina remains ever-endearing.
Lutz reveals his skills as a composer with his 1996 Christmas at Ashmeadow, a widening fantasy on a series of English and German carols beautifully wrought into a potpourri of much imaginative ability. Lively contrast comes by way of Monti’s celebrated Czardas which is festooned with lashings of gypsy fire, and Sibelius’ coquettish Mazurka in D minor which finds both players in exuberant form.