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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

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

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.
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Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | One Of The Blessings Of Social Isolation Is The Time To Listen

By Norman Lebrecht on March 20, 2020

Listening carefully to the Lutoslawski symphonies brings rewards that I failed to remember from past live hearings.
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SCRUTINY | Impressive Performances Bring Necessary Angel’s Thought Provoking ‘The Events’ To Life

By Paula Citron on March 5, 2020

Strong performances and thoughtful direction illuminate the complex and topical story of ‘The Events’ in Necessary Angel’s production.
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LEBRECHT LISTENS | Víkingur Ólafsson Is Putting Iceland On The Classical Music Map

By Norman Lebrecht on March 13, 2020

Víkingur Ólafsson has taken a pair of French composers two centuries apart and effectively melded their music into one by the simple method of interleaving short pieces across a whole album.
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