Review: Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic and Oliver Triendl’s ‘Romantic Duos for Viola and Piano’

By Laurence Vittes

Finnish violist Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic, professor at the Hochschule for Music and Theater in Hamburg, Germany, has identified and recorded an hour’s worth of richly Romantic music that even few violists have heard for the fledgling German TYXart label.

The CD leads off with a splendid Sonata in G minor, Op. 67, by Friedrich Kiel, a colleague of Joseph Joachim. Written in 1876, it contains all sorts of stirring moments, which enable maximum viola projection. The 25-minute gem concludes, following an enchanting Andante con moto, with an Allegro molto fourth movement that summarizes, of all things, the manic lyrical ecstasy and flow of the late Beethoven quartets.


Of the three, Carl Reinecke is the only composer who is quasi-well-known, and mostly to flutists; his affectionate Three Fantasy Pieces, Op. 43, are both Schumann-esque and entirely original. The most obscure of the composers, a member of the minor German nobility named Heinrich XXIV, Prince Reuss of Greiz, contributes a lovely, reflective Sonata in G major written in 1904.

While Gribajcevic and her mid-19th-century Vincenzo Postiglione instrument lavish their care on music that amply repays her efforts, Oliver Triendl shows why he has become a widely desired keyboard partner: passionate attention to both sweep and detail, a penchant for dialogue and interaction, and a wonderful, thrilling piano sound.


Romantic Duos for Viola and Piano

Romantic Duos for Viola and Piano
Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic and Oliver Triendl
(TYXart CD)