For the Record, Op. 235: Noah Bendix-Balgley; Sibbi Bernhardsson; George Zacharias; Ligeti Quartet

April 21, 2023, 3:12 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!

Noah Bendix-Balgley
Violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley. Image by Nikolaj Lund.

Leshnoff: Violin Concerto No. 2
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Alexander Mickelthwate, conducting

Violin Concerto No. 2 is a four-movement "symphony-concerto." After an energetic opening movement, the second, subtitled “Chokhmah Yud,” is reflective, scored only for violin, strings and harp. The scherzo is a light-hearted dance, and the involved counterpoint of the finale echoes and reconciles all that has come before. Read our interview with Noah Bendix-Balgley about this concerto and this recording. BELOW: Leshnoff: Violin Concerto No. 2: III. Scherzo:

Schubert:Three Sonatas for Piano and Violin, Op. 137
Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin
Peter Takács, piano

Icelandic violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson and American pianist Peter Takács present their first collaboration together, recorded in the spring of 2020 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Largely unknown at the time of Schubert’s death, the Sonatas for violin and piano were composed during a prolific two-month span in March and April of 1816. This creative outpouring by the 19-year-old Schubert also brought about his Fourth Symphony ("Tragic"), some two dozen songs and a 12-movement Stabat Mater (D. 383) for choir and orchestra. Schubert himself was a capable violinist (and violist) and had already written a significant body of work for strings, but this was his first foray into the violin sonata proper. BELOW: Sonata in A minor, Op. 137 No. 2, D. 385: I. Allegro moderato:

Skalkottas: Two Concertos
George Zacharias, violin
London Philharmonic, Martyn Brabbins conducting

The fact that Nikos Skalkottas was one of Schoenberg’s elite composition students obscures the fact that he began his career as a violinist of concert-artist level. The two concertos gathered here highlight this violinist/composer duality. Both concertos were composed in the late 1930s, a critical period in the life of the composer who, owing to the political situation, was unable to stay in Germany and had to return to his Athenian home. BELOW: Nikos Skalkottas: Concerto for Violin and Concerto for Violin, Viola and Wind Orchestra.

'Nuc': Anna Meredith String Quartets
Ligeti Quartet

Nuc is an album comprised entirely of compositions from Anna Meredith’s glittering career, and includes pieces re-arranged by Ligeti Quartet viola player Richard Jones (whose previous collaborations include Alex Turner, Jessie Ware and The Waeve), in conjunction with Meredith herself. BELOW: Nautilus (String Quartet Version)

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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