Welcome to "For the Record," Violinist.com'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!
Beethoven Sonatas for Piano & Violin
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
In Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Midori's first album together, the longtime friends explore Beethoven's 10 sonatas, composed by Beethoven when he was between the ages of 26 and 41. The works afford a microcosmic view of the composer as he transitioned from his early to his middle period — all the while contending with the growing deafness that would come to dominate his life. "My journey with Beethoven has been a kind of personal friendship," Midori said. "Beethoven, who lived a life of struggles, including self-doubts, was never deterred, writing music of incredible beauty and hopefulness. He shows me — he shows us — a path through our own challenges. Don’t be passive, never give up, be honest and daring expressing oneself. He speaks to me as a companion, reminding me to always strive and stretch, through good times and bad." BELOW: Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47, "Kreutzer": I. Adagio sostenuto:
Beethoven for Three series, Symphony No. 6 "Pastorale" and Op. 1, No. 3
Leonidas Kavakos, violin
Emanuel Ax, piano
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Like the first Beethoven for Three release — Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5 — this recording challenges the traditional boundary between chamber and orchestral repertoire to offer the listener two very different sides of the composer using the same three voices. Performed by a powerhouse combination of musicians Leonidas Kavakos, Emanuel Ax, and Yo-Yo Ma, and reimagined for trio by Shai Wosner, Beethoven’s "Pastorale" Symphony becomes a brilliant exploration of three instruments’ essential expressive capabilities. "It used to be completely normal that the first release of a symphony would not be the full score," Emanuel Ax said, "because to hear an orchestra was a very rare event. You wouldn't get that music until dozens of years later; you would get the arrangement for one piano, four hands, or trio, or quartet, and that's how you got to know the music. So we're going back to the roots." BELOW: Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, "Pastorale": III. Allegro, "Joyful gathering of countryfolk":
Nemanja Radulovic, violin
Serbian violin virtuoso Nemanja Radulovic draws on a diversity of cultures in this album, which was recorded in Belgrade in Spring 2021 and has its roots in the pandemic. "“Throughout this period I had the time to think profoundly about music today, and in the past and future," says Radulovic. “When the lockdown started I tried to create music, tried to practice, but I couldn’t. I preferred instead to listen to music of various styles." In addition to Mozart, the music that really made him feel alive was world music. For the album he is joined by his own ensemble, Double Sens, whose members come from both France and the Balkans. "The pieces selected for this album are very personal," Radulovic said. "My wish is that each of you discovers a world without borders through this music." BELOW: Trailer for "Roots" by Nemanja Radulovic:
The Four Seasons of Isolation
Avner Finberg, violin
Avner Finberg’s new album is a meditation on the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns. Finding himself separated from his fellow musicians and beloved concert audiences, Finberg took the opportunity to focus on composition and began writing this large-scale work for solo violin and electronics. Freed from the need for an accompanist, he worked in solitude to develop this musical essay reflecting on his year in isolation. The result was a nod to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons called "The Four Seasons of Isolation." Also included on the album is The Raven, which incorporates a dramatic reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpiece accompanied by violin and looper. The music combines electronics and violin to create haunting, ever-expanding chords that illustrate the story. BELOW: Trailer for "The Four Seasons of Isolation":
If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.
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