The young and trendy duo of Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Turkish pianist Fazil Say rips deliriously into a highly enterprising program as if tomorrow were a chancy affair. It’s more than their hearts that they wear on their sleeves; they lay out their emotional guts in a dazzling display of virtuosity and breathtaking musical entertainment. At one moment in Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata, Kopatchinskaja’s racing along, clipping eighth notes in a furious rush to the finish; at the next she’s finding aphrodisiacal sweetness in a simple, two-bar ritardando. Say follows a pounding accompaniment with a phrase of sudden elegance worthy of the slow movement of the “Emperor” Concerto. In Bartók’s six “Romanian Folk Dances,” Kopatchinskaja sometimes rips her pizzicati with destructive force, sometimes plucks lyrically with wonderfully expressive grace. Perhaps she doesn’t throw off Ravel’s pretty little Sonata with enough casual cool, but in Say’s 13-minute Violin Sonata, she captures all the magic of its moonlit beauty.
The Ariel Quartet, distinguished by its virtuosic playing and impassioned interpretations, makes its debut recording pairing two giants of the string-quartet world, Bela Bartok and Johannes Brahms. Both composers stand as significant pillars of the youthful Quartet’s two-decade-long journey. The Ariel Quartet earned its glowing international reputation early on, having formed in Israel when its members were students in middle school. The Ariel now serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music Debut. This release is the first in a projected series pairing the quartets of Bartok and Brahms. “…a blazing, larger-than-life performance…” (The Washington Post) “…the sum of the quartet is indeed greater than its parts…”(The Strad)
Star violinist Christian Tetzlaff performs Béla Bartók’s (1881–1945) two masterpieces in a new recording with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. This recording continues both artists’ highly successful series of recordings on Ondine.
They mean well, their hearts are in it, and they clearly have the chops. But ultimately, the Prazák Quartet's and Kocian Quartet's recording of Mendelssohn's ineffably evanescent String Octet doesn't quite make the grade. Because for all their good intentions, the Prazák and Kocian quartets' performance does not quite capture the work's ineffable evanescence, its sense of youthful impetuosity and masterful lucidity or its feeling for achingly lovely melodies and strongly effective rhythms.
Renaud Capuçon expands his wide-ranging concerto discography with Bartók’s two violin concertos. Composed almost three Decades apart, they are highly contrasted, inhabiting very different emotional and musical worlds. Partnering Capuçon is the London Symphony Orchestra under its Principal Guest Conductor, François-Xavier Roth.