1930s Violin Concertos Vol.1 | Canary Classics CC12

1930s Violin Concertos Vol.1

£22.95

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Label: Canary Classics

Cat No: CC12

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 3rd March 2014

Contents

Artists

Gil Shaham (violin)
New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Staatskapelle Dresden
Sejong Soloists
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Conductors

David Robertson
Juanjo Mena
Gil Shaham

Works

Barber, Samuel

Violin Concerto, op.14

Berg, Alban

Violin Concerto 'To the memory of an angel'

Britten, Benjamin

Violin Concerto in D minor, op.15

Hartmann, Karl Amadeus

Concerto funebre

Stravinsky, Igor

Violin Concerto in D major

Artists

Gil Shaham (violin)
New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Staatskapelle Dresden
Sejong Soloists
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Conductors

David Robertson
Juanjo Mena
Gil Shaham

About

The 1930s was an incredibly rich decade for the violin concerto, thriving on what was the uncertainty of the age. Over 30 violin concertos materialized across the decade, with well over a dozen - from Stravinsky and Berg’s through to Barber’s and Britten’s concertos - all commanding iconic status within the violinist’s repertory.

Gil Shaham is the leading violinist of his generation. He was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, Gil was named 'Instrumentalist of the Year' by Musical America, citing his “special kind of humanism”. Combine this “humanism” with a flawless technique and his generosity of spirit, and the musical results are nothing short of inspired.

CD 1
Samuel Barber
- Violin Concerto, Op.14
New York Philharmonic / David Robertson

Alban Berg
- Violin Concerto ‘To the Memory of an Angel’
Staatskapelle Dresden / David Robertson

Karl Amadeus Hartmann
- Concerto funebre, for solo violin and string orchestra
Sejong Soloists / Gil Shaham

Gil’s recording of the Barber Violin Concerto displays his trademark rich soulfulness as well as the sounds of urban America when called for - skyscrapers and sirens clearly manifest themselves in the last movement. The weeping, if not lamenting, solo violin in the Berg concerto, harmonized with very poignant 12-tone chords, reveals emotionally charged heart on sleeve mourning in this recording.

For Hartmann’s Concerto funebre, Gil is reunited with acclaimed Sejong Soloists, with whom he has recorded Mendelssohn’s octet and Haydn concerti (CC08), the New York Times observing from a concert performance of the Hartmann that Shaham “perfectly characterized the work’s anguished and occasionally angry spirit”.

CD 2
Igor Stravinsky
- Violin Concerto in D Major
BBC Symphony Orchestra / David Robertson

Benjamin Britten
- Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.15
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Juanjo Mena

Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto is a concerto with which Gil and conductor David Robertson have performed together countless times. The result is an interpretation which is luminous, light and dancing, The Times noting from this performance that “Shaham’s interpretation was exceptionally spirited and fresh, always at one with the incisive accompaniment from Robertson’s orchestra”.

Benjamin Britten’s concerto is arguably the most challenging to play on this collection and the most sobering work here, and shows another side of Shaham’s musical personality. A work with a martial-like drama, and for the most part a forceful, bordering on violent, execution of the work unfolds, interspersed - where called for - by an ethereal sound world bordering on the surreal. The tonal ambiguity at the end of the third movement is positively haunting. In concert, the Chicago Classical Review noted “This is music that fits Gil Shaham like a well-tailored glove.”


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