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Symphonic Music - Released October 2, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released April 5, 2011 | Chandos

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Chamber Music - Released July 31, 2020 | Chandos

Booklet
Following her last album, "The Polish Violin", Jennifer Pike now turns to a programme of English music that represents an essential part of her musical make-up. It was the music of Elgar that first drew her to the violin, and The Lark Ascending has featured in her programming - in many versions – throughout her career. Here we have the original version for violin and piano from 1914, much less frequently played than the ‘standard’ orchestral version, but fascinating for the new light it shines on such a well-known piece. Writing it against the backdrop of the First World War, Vaughan Williams took both inspiration and the title from a poem by George Meredith. Although his first sketches for a Violin Sonata date from 1887, Elgar’s Violin Sonata is one of the four late masterpieces that Elgar composed in 1918-1919, at Brinkwells in Sussex in his final creative flush. As with The Lark Ascending, this work was composed under the shadow of the Great War. Like Elgar, Vaughan Williams wrote his only Violin Sonata towards the end of his life. Representing a culmination of the development of his compositional style, he weaves fantasy and pastoralism into the strictures of sonata form. Jennifer Pike is joined for this album by one of her regular musical partners, the pianist Martin Roscoe. © Chandos
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Classical - Released March 4, 2014 | Chandos

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Chamber Music - Released January 4, 2019 | Chandos

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The title The Polish Violin suggests a kind of survey, and advertising for this album, cutting and pasting from the introduction of the booklet notes, mentions Grazyna Bacewicz and other Polish composers who have written for the violin. In fact, none of these composers appear on the program, which is dominated by the music of a single composer, Karol Szymanowski. Once you know what you're getting into, however, the news is extremely good. None of the music here is exactly common, except perhaps in Poland, but all of it is worth getting to know. Polish violin music has a reputation for being virtuosic, but the three Mythes, Op. 30, of Szymanowski are not so much virtuoso works as densely expressive and programmatic counterparts of Szymanowski's symphonies and stage works. Sample the gorgeous "Chant de Roxane" from the opera Król Roger, here idiomatically arranged for violin and piano, which will also give you an idea of the passionate commitment British violinist Jennifer Pike brings to this music (her mother was Polish, and she has traveled frequently to that country to visit relatives and speaks the language). The beginning also demonstrated the care taken by Chandos engineers, working at Potton Hall: Pike's playing here is made intensely immediate without pushing the sound over the edge. After the four works by Szymanowski, the music broadens out into the more stirring kind of thing you may be expecting, and here, too, Pike excels with commanding performances in works by Moritz Moszkowski, Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, and finally, to leave you with feet tapping, Henryk Wieniawski. The young Russian-British pianist Petr Limonov knows enough to stay out of Pike's way. A highly satisfying recital. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 29, 2016 | Chandos

Booklet
Felix Mendelssohn did visit the city of Birmingham several times, but the Chandos label's Mendelssohn in Birmingham series refers for the most part to these contemporary performances by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner. If you've been interested in trying out an item from the series, this one can be recommended strongly. The low-key, lyrical approach of conductor Gardner works beautifully in these two pieces. Especially effective is the Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, in the hands of violinist Jennifer Pike: she catches the novel role of the soloist in this concerto in a way that bigger performances do not. The violinist's entrance at the beginning is heard in the way that must have startled Mendelssohn's Leipzig audience: not as a virtuoso solo melody straining to get every last decibel out of the violin, but as a wandering, songful individual with something new and mysterious to say. Sample the beginning of the concerto; it gives the flavor of the whole. The balance between soloist and orchestra here is delicate and subtle, all the way through. Gardner also excels in the Incidental Music to "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Op. 61, presented here not only with its famous wedding march, but with its rarer vocal pieces. An excellent album that fully realizes the series' aims of evoking early performances of Mendelssohn. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released April 2, 2013 | Chandos

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Jennifer Pike, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition at the tender age of 12, appears to have survived the perils of prodigyhood and entered her early twenties with musical intelligence intact. Here she offers a terrific program of music from the middle of the 19th century; all of it is abstract, but it brings vividly to mind the crucial trio of creative figures who met in the early 1850s: the ailing Robert Schumann, his musically frustrated wife Clara, and the young Johannes Brahms, mooning over the latter. The Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 78, was written some years after that, but it seems to hark back to that time, not least in its dedication to Felix Schumann, Robert and Clara Schumann's youngest child. The work is a typical product of Brahms' maturity, with a first movement in which a flow of melody artfully conceals a dense web of motivic connections and intricately calibrated sonata-form balances, all of which Pike bring out very well. What's striking is the similarity of the work to Schumann's Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 105, one of three violin sonatas Schumann wrote toward the end of his life. These works have occupied only the margins of the violin-and-piano repertory, but Pike, by juxtaposing the work with Brahms and giving it a committed, gutsy performance, shows it at its best: Schumann's late works increasingly are seen as forward-looking, and they are no doubt the pieces the young Brahms heard in the Schumann household. Completing the triangle are the Three Romances, Op. 22, of Clara Schumann, composed in 1853; they are brief but quite ambitious works with some unusually inventive harmonic moves. All the pieces seem to be conversing with one another; the violinist is both technically and interpretively in control; and pianist Tom Poster brings just the right amount of prominence to his role, which is substantial in the Clara Schumann Romances. An impressive accomplishment. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 2, 2014 | Chandos

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Classical - Released September 25, 2014 | SEDITION