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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

RECORD KEEPING | Batiashvili And Nézet-Séguin Carry Over For Another Album

By Paul E. Robinson on April 10, 2018

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Lisa Batiashvili (Photo courtesy of Yannick Nézet-Séguin)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Lisa Batiashvili (Photo courtesy of Yannick Nézet-Séguin)

VISIONS OF PROKOFIEV. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 19. Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 63. Romeo and Juliet: “Dance of the Knights” arr. Tamas Batiashvili. Cinderella: “Grand Waltz” arr. Tamás Batiashvili. The Love for Three Oranges: “Grand March” arr. Tamas Batiashvili. Lisa Batiashvili, violin. Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Yannick Nézet-Séguin. DG 479 8529. Total Time: 59:49.

Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili has rapidly ascended to the highest peaks of her profession, with outstanding recordings of Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos with Barenboim (DG 479 6038); Brahms with Thielemann (DG 479 0086) and the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with Salonen (DG 477 9299). Now comes a superb Prokofiev album with Nézet-Séguin.

Batiashvili and Nézet-Séguin had already collaborated on some recordings of Tchaikovsky songs in arrangements for violin and piano with Nézet-Séguin at the keyboard, and now the fine rapport between the two musicians has clearly carried over to this new Prokofiev CD.

Prokofiev’s Violin Concertos are essential works for violin solo and chamber orchestra, with the composer giving the soloist the most transparent accompaniment imaginable. His orchestration is endlessly fresh and imaginative, even making discreet use of a tuba in the first concerto.

Prokofiev loves to show off the violin’s unique capacity to sing in long flowing lines, never more eloquently than in the second movement of Violin Concerto No. 2. That said, he also evokes the rough qualities of a country fiddler in the last movement of the same concerto. Batiashvili masters each of Prokofiev’s moods in the two concertos with achingly beautiful playing, rich in tone and earthy as required. Nézet-Séguin and the musicians of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe are ideal partners.

The three short encore pieces on the CD are taken from two ballet scores and an opera by Prokofiev and arranged by the soloist’s father for violin and orchestra. Although the Romeo and Juliet excerpt suffers from an accompaniment far too heavy for a solo violin in concert, it works well enough on a recording. The lovely Cinderella waltz is far more successful.

Paul E. Robinson

Paul E. Robinson

Over the course of his career, Paul Evans Robinson has acquired a formidable reputation as a broadcaster, author, conductor, and teacher. He has communicated the joy of music to more than a generation of musicians and music lovers in Canada and elsewhere.
Paul E. Robinson
Paul E. Robinson

Paul E. Robinson

Over the course of his career, Paul Evans Robinson has acquired a formidable reputation as a broadcaster, author, conductor, and teacher. He has communicated the joy of music to more than a generation of musicians and music lovers in Canada and elsewhere.
Paul E. Robinson
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Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Not Too Classical, Not Too Jazzy, Kirill Gerstein Goes Gershwin

By Ludwig Van on April 6, 2018

Kirill Gerstein gives new life to Gershwin’s dazzling conversation between jazz and classical music.
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SCRUTINY | Cleveland Orchestra Offers A Transcendent Concert Tristan und Isolde

By Joseph So on April 24, 2018

For devout Wagnerites within striking distance of Severance Hall in Cleveland, an important highlight this Spring is The Ecstasy of Tristan and Isolde, a “Festival Week” (April 21 – 29) focusing on the eternal love story of Tristan and Isolde, with the centerpiece being three concert performances of the monumental Wagner music drama.
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SCRUTINY | Bernstein@100 Offers A Unique Glimpse Into The Artist And The Man

By Joseph So on April 8, 2018

Bernstein@100 under the auspices of the Royal Conservatory of Music, was something special, thanks to the presence of Jamie Bernstein, the composer’s eldest daughter.
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