Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mendelssohn, Felix. (1809-1847) Violin Concertos.

From my collection.
Bought in December 2016.
First listen: 9-12-2016.
Second listen: 9-2-2017.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: August/September 2010 & December 2011.
Recording venues: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä,  Finland & Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany.
Recording engineers:  Sean Lewis and Günther Appenheimer.
Running time: 66:41.
Classical relevance: If a admirer of Tianwa Yang, essential.

Works performed:
Violin Concerto in E minor, opus 64 & in D minor.
Violin sonata in F minor, opus 4.

Works performed by:
Tianwa Yang, Violin.
Romain Descharmes, Piano.
Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, Patrick Gallois.

It so happens that I am an admirer of Tianwa Yang, who is called master of the Violin" which she really is. The ease and agility with which she plays is nothing short than amazing. The female counterpart of Paganini would be a more apt title for this lady. There are many excellent violinists, but there are only a few exceptional, thus Yang certainly belongs to the last group. I already enjoyed her CD'S with music of Pablo de Sarasate, so this acquisition was really unavoidable. Now the Mendelssohn Violin concertos are often recorded, and many are pristine in performance, but when you listen to Yang, you hear immediately what you are missing with other interpretations. Yang's bowing is sublime, the phrasing an intimate concoction of poetical rhyming, her precision and surefootedness a thing to impress, the shaping of Mendelssohn attractive melodies as if she was born to it. The synergy she has with the music she plays, puts her in a cosmos of her own, and if she does not get a good partner in crime to perform with, the whole thing falls apart. Happily not so with the Sinfonia Finlandia, which is steered with submissive supportive strength to Yang, and so creates a symbiosis that makes the music into a miracle to hear. The colours she gets out of her Violin is nothing short of amazing, and the breathtaking ease and speed with which she dashes of the notes makes me wonder if a human can do this at all. But look at her hands, wonderful long fingers very bendable, and able to play anything. A revelatory performance.
As to the recording of the violin concerto in E minor. As such it is a good recording, which gets a bit muddy at the side of the cellos and woodwinds. There is not enough depth to sustain the short little details that makes these concertos so tantalizing to listen to. Yang's violin tone is beautifully captured though. The Concerto in D minor recorded in the same venue is a perfect example of I heard what went wrong in the E minor and hereby it is corrected. Perfect depth, all the detail you need, and Yang's violin wonderfully integrated into the musical spectrum. And at the same time this is the best interpretation I ever heard from the D minor, so sensuous, drawing you into this concerto. I had a hard time adapting to the next piece, after this sumptuous meal of magic. The Violin sonata in F minor is a beautiful piece, well written and melodiously as seductive as the previous concerto, but right at the start Yang comes in with too much volume, and make the Adagio introduction overblown for this intimate work. The piano is to bold also, an approach that this piece can hardly stomach. It is beautifully played and both musicians get out what is in the notes, but the chamber music element is a concerto element, which is misjudging the intent of the piece. But that is a minor quibble really, must be said, but must not detain you from buying it. It is well captured in the recording. 



Riisager, Knudåge. (1897-1974) The Symphonic Edition, Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 21--11-2017. Label: Dacapo. Recording dates: September 2010 & Februa...