Albums

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Chamber Music - Released October 26, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
During the course of a full career, which justly earned him the name of "prince of baroque violinists", Giuliano Carmignola developed a remarkable vision of Bach's works for solo violin. Carmignola, a student of Szeryng and Milstein, knows this repertoire inside and out, creating a feeling of spontaneity and improvisation while remaining closely faithful to Bach's writing. He uses a discreet but present vibrato beautifully (a far cry from some other baroque musicians who step much further back from the material), and he favours a free approach to rhythm and an expressive style that highlights all the colours and subtleties of Bach's phrasing. His playing is influenced by the historical techniques unearthed by modern musicology, but it is also profoundly original, lyrical, and moving. The three Sonatas and three Partitas date back to the 1720s, the era of the great instrumental masterworks known as the Brandeburg Concertos, the First Book of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Cello Suites. The sonatas take the form of church sonatas – four movements, slow-fast-slow-fast – and the partitas borrow from the old-style dance suites in five, six or even eight movements. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound - 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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Duets - Released March 30, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Violin Concertos - Released March 23, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound
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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Violin Solos - Released January 12, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
There comes a moment in the career of any respected violinist (and even some who aren't), when they dream of playing, and perhaps recording, Paganini's 24 Caprices. And that is precisely what German star violinist Augustin Hadelich (b. 1984) has done. Hadelich has been a regular fixture in the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, Munich and Salzburg, for whom he has given some of the greatest concertos that exist, but he has also performed a repertoire of much rarer, contemporary works, which he has decided to champion. Hadelich tackles these 24 Caprices, which Paganini wrote over about 15 years, from 1802 to 1817, without intending to make them into a cycle in their own right - much less a programme to be played in a single concert; indeed, it seems that he never performed them in concert himself - like many small Italian operas (but French ones as well, in the tradition of grand opéra), each one is concentrated down into a few minutes. They run from grandiose tragedy in the style of Meyerbeer, to lighter shades of Rossini, with a real lyrical and vocal vision which is as far removed as can be from pure and demonstrative virtuosity. At 33 years old, Hadelich shows consistent maturity, but also humility, and a sense of experience which one would expect to see in a much older musician. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released September 30, 2016 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
It may be that it takes non-Americans to see the continuity in American musical traditions. This release by English violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Litton has a unique program that will remind listeners of the antecedents to the musically accessible language of John Adams and his contemporaries. The 1949 Concerto for Violin of Roy Harris, and indeed much of this composer's music, is not often performed, and the violin concerto specifically was virtually lost after its composition (it received its premiere only in 1984). The booklet here presents a nice overview of Harris, who worked his way through the University of California by driving a dairy truck. The concerto makes an ideal pair with Adams' popular Violin Concerto. It is in a single movement with four sections, sounding in part like Copland in its evocations of fiddle tunes and of the American West, but often taking on a more economical language that shows Harris was listening to modernist composers even if he did not follow their lead. Sample his first section for an idea of how he pairs his fiddle tunes not with expansive tonal backgrounds as Copland did, but with a more restricted modal palette, and for a good representation of Waley-Cohen's lithe playing. The Adams concerto, finished in 1993, has been one of the composer's most popular works, and its exuberant melodicism ties it in a specific way to the Harris work. Might he have known Harris' concerto, obscure though it may be? Given the nature of his training, it's entirely possible, and the composer of My Father Knew Charles Ives has always been keenly aware of his place in American musical history. This fine British release makes that place all the more sure.
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Violin Concertos - Released September 23, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique
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Classical - Released September 2, 2016 | Champs Hill Records

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2016 | Avie Records

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Duets - Released January 29, 2016 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Violin Concertos - Released November 13, 2015 | dB Productions

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Violin Concertos - Released May 6, 2014 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
With several of her recordings of Romantic and modern violin concertos already issued on the PentaTone label, Arabella Steinbacher releases her first Classical-era album with this hybrid SACD of Mozart's Violin Concertos No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5. One may presume that she will eventually round out the series with the first two violin concertos and the Sinfonia concertante, but it's still a fine program for connoisseurs of Mozart and aficionados of Steinbacher's exquisite playing. Performing with Daniel Dodds and the Festival Strings Lucerne, she delivers all three works with bright sonorities and fluid grace, and plays with an elegance that is quite attractive. Even so, she reserves her virtuosity for the cadenzas (Wolfgang Schneiderhan's in the Violin Concerto No. 3, and Joseph Joachim's in the last two concertos), and the brilliance and warmth of her sound is well matched by the rounded tone of the orchestra, which in spite of its name includes woodwinds and horns. While the ensemble isn't a period orchestra, and Steinbacher makes no attempt to play in the historically informed manner, that's just as well, considering that the later vintage of the cadenzas would clash stylistically, and that this group of musicians obviously knew what they'd feel comfortable playing. In the end, it comes down to taste, and these are quite tasteful performances, so putting the historical debate aside, they are an enjoyable change of fare for this artist.
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Classical - Released February 4, 2014 | Canary Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Concertos - Released November 5, 2013 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released October 14, 2013 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 14, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released June 25, 2013 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Chamber Music - Released October 2, 2012 | Toccata Classics

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released September 20, 2010 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaya has recorded both traditional repertoire and music by contemporary Turkish composer Fazil Say, and on this album she turns to folk traditions of Eastern Europe and music based on those traditions. In addition to the folk music of Hungary, Romania, and the Ukraine, she plays works by Romanians George Enescu and Grigoras Dinicu, Transylvanian György Ligeti, Hungarian György Kurtág, Maurice Ravel, and Cuban-Chinese composer Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, who was a classmate of Kopatchinskaya's in Vienna. The roots of this music are close to Kopatchinskaya's heart and the album is clearly a labor of love. Her father, Viktor Kopatchinsky, who was the premiere cimbalom player in the Soviet Union and is a dazzling virtuoso in his own right, joins her, as does her mother, violinist and violist Emilia Kopatchinskaya, and pianist Mihuela Ursuleasa and bassist Martin Gjakonovski. All the performers play with brilliant and uninhibited flair, and not surprisingly they have the most freedom to cut loose in the folk music, which comes off with ferocious primal energy. In Dinicu's Hora staccato in the arrangement by Heifetz, once a staple of violinists' encore repertoire, the cimbalom takes the piano part. Ravel made a version of his Tzigane for a piano modified to sound like a cimbalom, so it was a natural step to arrange the part for an actual cimbalom, and it's entirely effective, allowing the familiar piece to be heard in a new light. The most avant-garde piece, and one of the most entertaining, is Sanchez-Chiong's Crin, which requires as much virtuoso vocalization as fiddling. The appealing performances and repertoire make this an album that should be of interest to anyone who loves Eastern European folk music and spirited music-making. Naïve's sound is clear, present, and vibrant.