For the Record, Op. 170: Tessa Lark and Nikki Chooi with BPO; Boulogne Symphonies Concertantes; Júlia Pusker border=0 align=

For the Record, Op. 170: Tessa Lark and Nikki Chooi with BPO; Boulogne Symphonies Concertantes; Júlia Pusker

September 16, 2021, 1:59 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

The Four Seasons
Tessa Lark, violin
Nikki Chooi, violin
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falleta conducting

Performed at two separate concerts during the pandemic, here are two different versions of the "Four Seasons." First is Vivaldi's The Four Seasons featuring concertmaster Nikki Chooi. Conductor JoAnn Falletta said this concert felt like "more than music; it became a kind of reassurance, of connection, of continuum. In Nikki's transcendent playing, we all found solace and hope, and wanted to document this performance as a very special moment in our season." Later in the season, the BPO and violinist Tessa Lark performed and recorded "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires," Astor Piazzolla's version of the seasons, revealed through the essence of the tango, which Falletta calls "a sad song disguised as a dance." BELOW: JoAnn Falleta gives a fascinating talk about Astor Piazzolla's history and passion for the tango:

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Brian Lewis - Repertoire for Solo Violin Part 1: Ysaÿe's 'Obsession'

September 15, 2021, 6:15 PM · J.S. Bach seemed to fully conquer the genre of "unaccompanied violin" when he wrote his Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. He'd written so much, so well -- what was left for other composers to write? That appears to be one of the questions that Eugene Ysaÿe was pondering when he wrote his "Obsession," the first movement from Sonata No. 2, dedicated to Jacques Thibaud.

Ysaÿe (1858 – 1931) wrote a total of six solo violin sonatas, each inspired by and dedicated to a different contemporary violinist: Joseph Szigeti; Thibaud; Georges Enesco; Fritz Kreisler; Mathieu Crickboom and Manuel Quiroga.

Ysaÿe's "Obsession" was the focus of the second part of a lecture by Brian Lewis called "All Alone: Repertoire for Solo Violin" at last summer's virtual Starling DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at Juilliard.

What exactly was Ysaÿe's "obsession"? Bach, of course!

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The Week in Reviews, Op. 320: Njioma Grevious; James Ehnes; Lyris Quartet

September 14, 2021, 11:27 AM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Njioma Grevious performed Marcus Norris’s "Glory" with the Chicago Philharmonic.

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REVIEW: Jacaranda's 'Twin Towers' Tribute with the Lyris Quartet

September 13, 2021, 1:05 AM · Last weekend brought numerous tributes and memorials to the victims of September 11, 2001, with radio stations, news channels and social networks marking the 20th year since that horrible day, with features, speeches and stories.

But for focused reflection that's little less news-heavy, I would agree with Patrick Scott, who said that "music may be the best way to experience this anniversary."

Scott is the Artistic and Executive Director of Jacaranda, a Chamber Music LA series that presented a concert Saturday night in Santa Monica, Calif. called "Twin Towers," featuring the Lyris Quartet as well as the West Coast Premiere of Anthony Davis's 2002 piece "Restless Mourning," with a small chamber ensemble and eight voices.

Before the music even began, the stage design set the tone, with two blue lights pointing upward on either side of the stage, bringing to mind Manhattan's Tribute in Light, the two blue beams that shine skyward each year in Battery Park, just south of the World Trade Center, to represent the Twin Towers. They have been used as a tribute each year on the 9/11 anniversary since 2003. Keep reading...

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