Albums

457 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
Given that the aim of this recording, announced in the booklet notes, is to "[demonstrate] how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria, and England responded to the challenges of writing for the violin senza basso, it's a bit odd to begin the proceedings with a work that's not for violin at all. However, the transcription for solo violin of Bach's underplayed Partita for flute in A minor, BWV 1013, by violinist Rachel Podger herself, is quite idiomatic to the violin, and Podger's performance is lively and attractive. From Bach, Podger looks outward to other solo violin works rather than back to the tradition immediately preceding Bach's unaccompanied sonatas and partitas. The works don't have anything directly to do with one another, but they are united in part by being Podger's favorites, and there are some fascinating offbeat pieces that do indeed seem to have counterparts in Bach's magisterial compendia. Consider the very nice pair of solo sonatas by Giuseppe Tartini. In the Giga movement of the first one, the violin takes its solo and is answered by itself in the role not only of harmonic accompaniment but of orchestral figure. The pieces by Nicola Matteis, who inaugurated the entire migration of Italian musicians to Britain, have a fantastic spirit, while the sonata by Pisendel, which may have preceded or followed Bach's pieces, is at least similar to them in language, although less deep. A selection from Biber's Rosary Sonatas works well as a finale. One minor flaw is that notes describe a sonata by Antonio Montanari that is not actually included; a more serious problem is overresonant church sound inconsistent with the chamber purposes of the music.
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Violin Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
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Violin Solos - Released September 7, 2018 | Aparté

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In his turn the conductor and first violin of the Freiburger Barockorchester engraved these emblematic pages for violin. On his instrument by the Milanese lutenist Paolo Antonio Testore (1690-1767), Gottfried von der Goltz tackles without any display this corpus for solo violin. He plays them in an authentic, personal and sober (a little too reserved?) way with a constant concern to put forward their rich architecture and polyphony always in a deep understanding of the writing. © Qobuz 2018    
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Duets - Released August 10, 2018 | Alpha

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Two young Belgian soloists—including Lorenzo Gatto, despite the Italian consonance of the name—have been gathering for several years around Beethoven, and here is their interpretation of three Beethoven sonatas: the First written even before the end of the 18th Century—1798—, followed by the very last that is the Tenth Op. 96 from 1812—created by the infamous Pierre Rode on violin, and the archduke Rudolph of Austria who, incidentally, must have been an amazing pianist—, to finish with one of the most famous ones, the Fifth called “The Spring Sonata” (a name not chosen by the composer). Despite dating “only” from 1801, this sonata is incredibly different from the First regarding its architectural maturity, its intense lyricism and its audacities of all kinds. Gatto, who won the Queen Elisabeth Competition, plays on nothing less than the Stradivarius “Joachim”, while Libeer, a chamber music enthusiast, has a field day on a big concert piano with parallel strings and of an almost orchestral sound. Their first volume, released in 2016, was more than noticed by the critics and the audience—and was a great success on Qobuz. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 6, 2018 | New Focus Recordings

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While the Violin Concerto from 2016 by Michael Hersch (born 1971) seems like a frightful chaos, the work soon takes a more linear and legible turn, even though its content remains tremendously violent from end to end, even in those less frenetic passages where the melodic line seems to warn of impending danger... The work was commissioned by violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who is an ardent supporter of music less ordinary, which requires nerve and endurance. As for end stages (all lower case in the title) from 2017, it explores the "end stages" of musical discourse, an apparent allusion by the composer to the illness and deaths of loved ones which have dogged him for years. The eight movements, far from fading away, give the impression of slowly closing in on themselves. The famous Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, to which the work is dedicated, performs it here. As it is wonted to do, the ensemble plays without a conductor, which is a terrific tour de force, given a score of such complexity. But as each musician is forced to listen to the other, the concentration is extreme – and it shows. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 22, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
While Max Bruch's First Concerto was recorded, re-recorded and over-recorded to the nth degree, we can't say the same of Bruch's very elegant Scottish Fantasy Enter Joshua Bell, the new artistic director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, both playing the violin and heading up an ensemble to offer us both the Concerto – which he had recorded about thirty years ago with Marriner – and the Fantasy, a discographic first for him. This Fantasy, written in 1880 after the Second Concerto, was Sarasate but first performed by Joachim. The composer weaves it together from an infinitely elegant tissue of themes, and melodic impressions of Scotland, real or imagined. Joshua Bell, of Scottish descent himself, swims like a wild salmon through the clear waters of lochs and highland torrents, while the orchestra, clearly rapt, offers him a beautiful foil. © SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released June 15, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Everyone knows Mendelssohn's violin concerto, at least the one in E Minor; and his piano concertos are reasonably well-known. But what about this concerto for piano and violin? Ha! To be sure, it's a work from his youth (to say the least): the work dates from 1823, when Mendelssohn was just 14 years old, but already displaying stupefying talents. This double concerto appears to have been written for private Sunday concerts in the family home; and yes, we can hear a few classical accents from Mozart and Beethoven (the latter was still alive!), and from Weber too in the sunnier moments, but the melodic development is already typically Mendelssohnian. Here we have the original version with string orchestra, because shortly after its first performance at the Sunday sessions it was re-written with wind and timpani. As for the Violin Concerto in D Minor, it is the work of a composer who is still young, just thirteen, although this version contains the revision that he made a few years later – more compact movements, and a complete third movement, as the first draft of 1822 only sketched the third movement in outline. Here, too, one is just gobsmacked by the maturity of the writer; were it by anyone other than Mendelssohn, there would be an uproar about this overlooked genius – even if the writer were an adult – whereas, as it's Mendelssohn, what people focus on is merely the youthfulness of the work. Just like we do, in this review… © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 8, 2018 | Claves Records

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Swiss violinist Caroline Goulding offers us a singular pairing here: the brilliant, lyrical and very fin-de-siècle-Vienna Concerto by Korngold, written in 1945 and based on themes borrowed from some pieces of film music, followed by an ever-so-delicate Fifth Concerto by Mozart, one of those miracles of the composer's youth, from when he was just 19, but already in full command of staggering powers. Consider that the whole orchestral introduction, which could easily serve as a rich opening theme, is in fact merely the accompaniment to the real theme, which is richer still, and played by the solo violin. Caroline Goulding has been building an international career since she started with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2006. Sometimes she will sit out for a few weeks of contemplative silence, and it is just one such period of silence which produced this album. Since her début, she has performed as a soloist with the orchestras of Toronto, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Milwaukee and Washington in North America, as well as with numerous European orchestras, in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Berne. Her style owes much to her teacher, Christian Tetzlaff. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 8, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The press is already in a spin about it: "The new Menuhin"; "a star is born"; "the enchanted bow"... Daniel Lozakovich, 17 years old, might have his head in the stars, but he has his feet firmling on the ground. He is shaping a dazzling career with stunning maturity. Born in Sweden to a family from the former USSR, he learned violin in 2007, at the age of 6. Two years later, he would play his first concerto, conducted by Vladimir Spivakov. There then followed the difficult quest to find a teacher who would "not change my musicality, but make me stronger." Daniel Lozakovich currently lives in Geneva, where he works with Eduard Wulfson, a private tutor that he met at the Verbier Festival. It was also at this festival, which showcases young talents, that the teenager met Valery Gergiev, who immediately took him under his protective and liberating wing. Signed to Deutsche Grammophon (DG), Daniel Lozakovich would soon record Beethoven's Concerto in D Major with his mentor, "a work whose structure is so clear", he said, "but whose music is so difficult". Daniel Lozakovich listened to a lot of records to perfect his playing and his musical knowledge. He learned a lot from listening to the great masters of the past, in particular Bruno Walter, who charmed him with his sense of detail, and the sound he gets from his orchestra, as well as his poetic phrasing. This preference says a lot about this very young musician, who we discover here on his first record, dedicated to Bach. Listening to the Second Partita (with its brilliantly-structured Chaconne) and the Concertos in E Major and A Minor, we are won over straight away by the solidity of his concept, the great beauty of the sonority with its long phrases and a discourse which is constantly expressive. His parents, who are not remotely musicians, would have preferred for him to be a great tennis player, but fate had other plans for this strong-willed teenager with a dazzling smile. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Violin Solos - Released May 25, 2018 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Violin Concertos - Released May 4, 2018 | Accent

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Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) also known as "Il Divino Boemo" (The Divine Bohemian) was one of the most celebrated opera composers in Italy in the 1770s. His instrumental works - symphonies, concertos, octets, quartets, and trios - were as popular as his vocal music. Certain features of his melodic style reflect his Bohemian origins, and Mysliveček's influence on contemporaries was significant. A close friend of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a musical influence on him, Mozart described his character as "full of fire, spirit and life". All nine of the Mysliveček violin concertos that survive in complete form were probably written in a short period during the late 1760s and early 1770s when the composer maintained close contacts with the city of Padua and the composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. As a representative of Italian traditions that extended back to the early eighteenth century, Mysliveček’s violin concertos are all cast in three movements of the pattern ‘fast-slow-fast’. “From this music one can hear that the author was also a superb opera composer: the quickly alternating themes are well defined in character, whether sounding serious or boisterous, pleading or alluring, questioning or majestic, friendly or imperious. Figuratively, we find ourselves on the opera stage.” (Leila Schayegh) © Accent/Note-1
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Violin Concertos - Released April 27, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
In 1994 John Adams composed his Violin Concerto, a work of breath-taking virtuosity written in an exhilarating and strongly rhythmic tone, sign that it was partly conceived for the New York City Ballet; even if the first movement is somewhat reminiscent − with its dreamlike atmosphere as well as fluid and elusive harmonies – of Berg’s Violin Concerto. It’s worth noting that the orchestra, in addition to its traditional elements, features a strong percussion section as well as two synthesisers that further add to the piece’s dreamlike and uncharted hue. That same year, violinist Leila Josefowicz (born in 1977) made her debut at Carnegie Hall in a concerto by Tchaikovsky conducted by Marriner: a big leap into what was to become an established international career. And it’s precisely for Josefowicz, small world indeed, that Adams wrote his dramatic symphony Scheherazade.2 for violin and orchestra: the bond between the soloist and the master is undeniably strong, and her interpretation couldn’t be more faithful to Adam’s original idea. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Today, Finland is one of the richest musical countries on Earth. Thanks to the exceptional quality of its musical teaching it produces numerous composers, conductors and artists who perform all over the world. The very rich catalogue of the dynamic Finnish publisher Ondine contains several recordings of the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin) by Bach, Mozart's sonatas, Trios by Brahms, concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich); and the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu (Sibelius, Mahler, Enescu, Berio, Messiaen, Lindberg, Melartin), but it is their first record together. Bartók's two Violin Concertos were written thirty years apart, for two virtuosos. While the Second Concerto in the form of variations on a theme that develop ingeniously across three movements, has been well-known for a long time, the first remained unheard for years. Written as a declaration of love for the Hungarian-Swiss violinist Stefi Geyer, for whom Bartók had fallen, it was a secret kept by the dedicatee: it was only long after the composer's death that the violinist let Bartók's patron and close friend, the conductor Paul Sacher, know about the work. He would see that it was performed, with Hansheinz Schneeberger, but only in 1958. Bartók's two concertos, essential parts of the repertoire for violin and orchestra would enjoy a well-deserved resurgence in interest among a younger generation of violinists – the recording of the same works by Renaud Capuçon for Warner came out a few weeks ago. This new version, magnificently recorded, carefully explores all the orchestral richness, in perfect dialogue with Christian Tetzlaff's outstanding violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Duets - Released April 13, 2018 | Fuga Libera

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
"French" works (although Ysaÿe was Belgian…) from 1877 with Fauré's First Sonata through to 1908's Extase by Ysaÿe: that's what is on offer here from French violinist Saténik Khourdoïan, a regular at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Radio-France Philharmonic the Orchestre de Marseille, Roque-d’Anthéron, the Grange du Meslay, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, France-Musique and France-Culture – and we should also mention that she is the first solo violin of the Monnaie de Bruxelles. Her selection shines a light on a whole range of French art which stands resolutely off to one side of the idiosyncratic route sketched out by Debussy: Saint-Saëns, Fauré and Ysaÿe will always remain in the ambit of rigorously-written French romanticism. The Caprice en forme de valse by Saint-Saëns, in its wild transcription by Ysaÿe, gives us a sense of the real value of Saténik Khourdoïan's undertaking. This is an excellent calling card for a violinist who has still got plenty to say. © SM/Qobuz
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Duets - Released March 30, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Duets - Released March 23, 2018 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
As not indicated by its title, this album offers duos for two violins, a very wide repertoire that is however rarely recorded. “Suite Case” is simply the name of the first piece, penned by Giovanni Solima and precisely dedicated to our two soloists, Chiara Zanisi and Stefano Barneschi, followed by an impressive range of works written between the middle of the Baroque era and the present times with Bartók and Berio. It is worth noting that these pieces for two violins, a formation rather ill-suited for public concerts, had two distinct vocations: a pedagogic use, as is the case for Bartók’s 44 Duos (with a very pronounced insistence on Magyar folklore) and Haydn with his Three easy and progressive duos for two violins, whose name says it all; and a family use, like Telemann’s Canons mélodieux ou sonates en duo à flûtes traverses, ou violons, ou basses de viole (melodious canons or six duo-sonatas for traversos, or violins, or viola da gambas)—the composer, an excellent businessman, aimed at any and every possible buyer who wished to have small domestic concerts with any combination of two instruments. Only Vivaldi’s duo—at least for the repertoire of that era—seems to have been meant for a pair of virtuoso, a bit intrinsically: the language is neither for students nor for enlightened amateurs, given its difficulty. Curiously, the partition notes that the bass is optional… Even if it is not written, any harpsichordist could have improvised it in continuo. Solima’s piece acts as a guide for the album, opening and closing it. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released March 23, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Special Soundchecks
After the volumes dedicated to Vivaldi's great instrumental cycles, La Stravaganza (2004), La Cetra (2012) and L’Estro armonico (2015), English violinist Rachel Podger continues her work with her Brecon Baroque ensemble to bring out this version of the Four Seasons, which is rounded off with three violin concertos. Brecon Baroque is an offshoot of the festival of the same name that takes place every year at the end of October, in Wales. A magical place at the confluence of two rivers, where the spectacular countryside draws visitors every year in their hundreds. A passionate fan of the music of Vivaldi and Biber, Rachel Podger, who studied in Germany, demonstrates through her performances just how much the Red Priest's music (and her herself, following Biber) can cloak itself in the mysterious and bizarre, to the point that Vivaldi appears here as a distant descendant of the mannerists from the late Renaissance and early Baroque period. This is a particularly interesting and successful take.
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Duets - Released March 16, 2018 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

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Violin Concertos - Released March 9, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The almost complete disappearance of Hjalmar Borgström’s music from the repertoire is fully explainable by reasons not related to the quality of the music, but rather concerning a mismatch between the composer and the dominating trends in Norwegian music. Like Grieg in the preceding generation, Borgström went to study in Leipzig as from 1887. However, in contrast to Grieg who returned from Germany firmly resolved to carve out an authentic, Norwegian idiom, Borgström remained in Germany for a long time, immersing himself in the aesthetics of contemporary music there. When he returned to Norway for good in 1903, he was a staunch proponent of new German symphonic music. This conviction – or rather, his lack of interest in developing a national idiom – hampered his career in Norway. Grieg himself reportedly expressed bafflement at the phenomenon of a younger Norwegian composer, so obviously gifted and well trained as a musical craftsman – but with nothing specifically ‘Norwegian’ about his music. Borgström’s Violin Concerto was first performed at the 1914 Jubilee exhibition, a celebration of the centenary of the Norwegian constitution. A cultivation of national identity in the 1800s had developed into a near frenzy around the time the union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905. The cultural climate was thus very much in favour of presenting new Norwegian music, and the concerto was well received. It did not establish itself in the repertoire, however, receiving only a few performances in the following decades. The concerto is in the conventional three movements and, in keeping with its neutral title, does not have any explicit programme. Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto was composed a few decades later than Borgström’s Concerto. This work too is marked by the uneasy fit between its composer and his environment. The difficulties Shostakovich experienced at the time were quite literally a matter of life and death. The post-war years saw the official denouncement of music containing ‘formalistic distortions and anti-democratic trends alien to the Soviet people’, in the words of the infamous decree by Zhdanov from 1948. Shostakovich, Prokofiev and others – that is, almost every composer of any significance in the Soviet Union – were accused of negating the basic principles of classical music. Shostakovich’s reaction to the Zhdanov doctrine was to follow two paths simultaneously. In public, he wrote ‘light’ music and film scores, works that paid the bills and would cause no problems with the authorities. In private, he composed the music that he wanted to write, music that met his own high artistic and intellectual standards but would have no chance of being performed in public. The First Violin Concerto falls decisively into the second category. A champion of Norway’s rich musical tradition, Eldbjørg Hemsing has been performing on some of the world’s most prestigious stages since the age of 11, when she made her solo début with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Her star rose when she gave a globally televised performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo. A regular guest soloist with some of the world’s top ensembles, she is honoured to count the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony 8 Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra among her most active orchestral partners. © SM/Qobuz