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Dvorak: String Sextet / Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence

Sarah Chang Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Sarah Chang recording tracks from her new album


“Her gifts are at a level so removed from the rest of us that all we can do is feel the appropriate awe and then wonder on the mysteries of nature. The ancients would certainly have had Ms. Chang emerging fully formed from some Botticellian scallop shell.” The New York Times

Sarah Chang is recognised as one of the world’s great violinists. Since her debut with the ... Read more in Amazon's Sarah Chang Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 July 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000069CU5
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 260,443 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Souvenir de Florence, Op.70: I. Allegro con spirito10:49Album Only
Listen  2. Souvenir de Florence, Op.70: II. Adagio cantabile e con moto10:31Album Only
Listen  3. Souvenir de Florence, Op.70: III. Allegretto moderato 6:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Souvenir de Florence, Op.70: IV. Allegro vivace 7:020.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sextet, Op.48: I. Allegro moderato13:48Album Only
Listen  6. Sextet, Op.48: II. Dumka (elegie) poco allegretto 7:110.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Sextet, Op.48: III. Furiant presto 4:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Sextet, Op.48: IV. Finale tema con variazioni 7:530.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very involving, full of drive and beauty 11 Mar 2007
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I thoroughly enjoyed this CD, particularly for the Tchaikovsky. It's one of those really lovable works which, however, goes on a bit - Tchaikovsky in prolix vein, but with lyrical beauty, drive and energy. It needs to be played with commitment, and that's exactly what happens here. Listen to the grinding, inexorable pulse in the agitated sections of the third movement, and the power in the lower instruments, or the full-throated cantabile in the second movement, or indeed any one of many other moments. A performance like this live would have me out of my seat. The Dvorak, in a gentler, quieter way, is just as idiomatic and just as effective. The CD is distinguished by the presence of Sarah Chang. This is not the only CD of chamber music she has made - it's nice to see charismatic soloists choosing to play as primus inter pares in works which are less glitzy but no less musically satisfying than the big concerti, just as Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Menuhin and other wonderful names from the past used to do. She plays with poise and assurance, quite beautifully. It's a fine CD and can be recommended heartily.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exacting Clarity, Execution, and Balance 2 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
There is no doubt that these recordings attest to greatness with their beautiful balancing and clarity of the sextet voices. The performances are noteworthy for providing the listener with complete appreciation of the sonorities and inner voicings especially in the intricacies of the Tchaikovsky. The fluidity, clarity, and oneness of ensemble are all evident and to be fully praised because these challenges are inherently demanding when preparing chamber music.
It is interesting to listen to the juxtaposition of Sarah Chang, an American violinist from Dorothy Delay's prolific class, with the distinct sound of the Berlin Philharmonic players. The concept of sound is specific to each individual performer's unique training, background, environment, intellect, and ultimately persona (spirit and temperament). With that in mind it is very rewarding to listen to these performances where the soloistic, highly polished, poised, and clean performance trademarks of Chang are joined with the more natural, cerebral, mercurial, organic, and singing spontaneity of the Berlin players. Chang convinces the listener that she plays all the notes and exceptionally well in terms intonation, rhythm, articulations, and projection while the Berliners are joined in the nuances, tone color variations, flexibilities, and creation of sounds that result from natural, instinctive, and musical phrasing that is alive, rather than simply an effective following of the dynamic markings on the page.
The Dvorak is especially revealing in this pairing of musical approaches and mentalities which again, reveals an impressive unity and clarity in chamber playing. Yet, the Slavic spirit and character elements of spontaneity, joy, rashness, and a primitive fire, pageantry, and peasantry are nevertheless absent.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, beautiful performance; dont let bias interfere 21 Oct 2002
By Adalberto Valle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I admit almost every person is biased in many ways. But bias can get in your way for enjoying truly great musical experiences. Thats this recording, a moving emotional performance by top-class artists. I mention bias because a fellow reviewer gave 2 out of 5 to this cd recording. (Another Dorothy Delay hater maybe?). Well the truth is this recording is ALL too great to let your prejudices interfere with the enjoyment of a truly beautiful musical experience. I am a musician, a violinist, and I have a mature ear. I know what I hear and this recording is NOT unmusical. Rather its a superb recording that must be recommended. About Sarah, this is one of the best recordings in which she participates. She really shimmers here as well as all the other great players. Whoever says Sarah Chang is unmusical or just a "technician" is truly biased; no matter your musical background (US, Europe, Russia) beautiful music is beautiful music. And I hear all the great soloists and have their recordings; Sarah is among the foremost violin soloists right now, a reality many dislike but true nonetheless. And her vibrato is beautiful, full of emotion. And it VARIES, especially in the latest recordings. I know what I am talking about since I have all her cds (and I AM a violinist). I hope you get this recording and enjoy it for many years to come. Too good to avoid it. Great sound quality and beautiful chamber music comradeship, as if they've been playing together for a long time. Unique musical experience: thanks to Sarah and all others players for this great music. I hope to live more to hear more music like this. (I also recommend Sarah's recording of the Goldmark violin concerto, and her Strauss violin Sonata).
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entrancing 8 Mar 2005
By Robert Honeyman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When I first listened to the Florence a couple of years ago, I noted its lyricism but quickly forgot it. A month or so ago, I put it back on the player, listening once through. A couple of days later, I was lazing around when the tune that had been running through my unconcious came to the fore.

I went back and played the Florence, this time listening intently. I discovered what a marvelous piece of music this is.

The playing is masterful. The recording captures the brilliance and virtuosity of Sarah Chang, juxtaposing her with the gorgeous and comfortable ensemble sound of the five members of the Berlin Philharmonic. Together, they bring a life to the music which has me completely captivated.

It has been years since a single recording has taken over my waking moments. The last I can remember is when I discovered Beethoven's seventh as a teenager. Or maybe it was Mahler's second around the same time. I can remember riding the bus to school playing the seventh through my head. I attended a downtown school in Detroit but lived at the edge of the city. On the best days, it was a 45 minute ride.

These days, I get to pop this CD into the player in my car. It makes it so much easier. I'm hoping another 20 or 30 playings and I'll be over my obsession. In the meantime, it's a marvelous way to get to work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Captivating! 18 May 2008
By Moldyoldie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My only previous experience with the string sextet form are hearing those of Brahms and they were certainly a delight. These are just as entertaining and satisfying with the Tchaikovsky perhaps being the more melodically captivating of the two works, but with the Dvorák every bit as substantive. I also suppose Chang is the "star" here, but this features some very fine ensemble playing including present and erstwhile members of the Berlin Philharmonic. Melodic, entrancing...beautiful!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two plush Romantic works get ultra-plush treatment 14 May 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Souvenir de Florence is Tchaikovsky's strongest chamber work, full of melodic passion from his enthralled memories of Italy (though one would be hard-pressed to hear the idiom as anything but the lush Russian lyricism of his String Serenade in C). The Dvorak String Sextet Op. 48 is a lesser work, rarely played in concert but itself a river of melody, imbued with Slavic folk touches in the 'Dumka' second movement and Furiant third movement. A string sextet is a plush vehicle for a melodist, if a nightmare for structuring intricate development sections. Neither Dvorak nor Tchaikovsky wanders far from the simple form of a serenade, so we can sit back and enjoy the sensual delights.

Chang and company certainly rovide them--EMI's excellent sonics give us every luscious inner line, and the ensemble achieved among the veteran Berlin Phil. players is superlative. Every chord is prefectly balanced; intonaiton is impeccable. Even the great chamber music centers like Marlboro don't produce such unanimity. Despite her status as little-doll-prodigy-growing-up, Chang holds her own musically; indeed, the long passage for violin that begins the second movement of Souvenir de Florence displays mature, refined phrasing. I was extremely impressed throughout and would give both performances first place among the competition I've heard over the years, particularly the masterful Tchaikovsky.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excitement and drive 22 Sep 2011
By Xytech - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've listened to this recording a number of times now (at least 20). The Tchaikovsky is wonderful. It truly conveys the sense of excitement, drive, and anticipation that this work needs, and in those qualities comes as close to a live performance as you can. I can't agree with the comments about it being 'cold' or 'emotionless',

In regards to the Dvorak, I am not in as good a position to comment as I am not as familiar with this work compared with the Tchaikovsky that I know intimately. I will say that even as an outsider, whilst it is very enjoyable to listen to, it doesn't grab me like the Tchaikovsky does. However, it is a very nice recording regardless.

This CD should be bought for the Tchaikovsky (5 stars) with the Dvorak a very nice addition (4 stars).
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