Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos | Violin Sonata (Tianwa Yang, Romain Descharmes, Patrick Gallois) (Naxos: 8572662)
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Filled with Mendelssohn's signature freshness and lightness of touch, the Violin Concerto in D minor and the Sonata, Op. 4 are youthful products but written with an assurance which is startling in its maturity. The substantial earlier concerto gives a foretaste of the originality and soaring inspiration which has made the Violin Concerto, Op. 64 one of the most enduring works of its age. Acclaimed as an unquestioned master of the violin (American Record Guide), Tianwa Yang has quickly established herself as a leading international performer and recording artist, with highly acclaimed discs of works by Sarasate and Piazzolla amongst others.
Almost invariably coupled with one romantic violin concerto or another, this substantial all-Mendelssohn program sees the Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 strikingly placed next to the much less familiar Concerto in D minor. Together with the Violin Sonata, Op. 4, this trilogy of perfectly formed and superbly performed Mendelssohn masterpieces is irresistible.
Tianwa Yang's playing has been admired by Gramophone, stating that one simply marvels and enjoys her performances of Sarasate (Music for Violin and Piano Vol. 3, 8.570893). Yang's profile has also been enhanced with a signifi cant recent recording of Wolfgang Rihm's Complete Works for Violin and Piano (8.572730).
In Tianwa Yang we find an artist of exceptional technique and musicianship. Above all, her tone, particularly at the extremes, on the E and G strings, is heart-meltingly beautiful....impeccable technique throughout. 5*/5* --Roger Nichols BBC Music Magazine March 2013
The concertos showcase Yang's presence of sound and lyrical grace on a grand scale. --Gramophone, Mar'13
Here's an attractive disc of both mendlessohn violin concertos played by a gifted young virtuoso who has plenty of musical intelligence a well as superb technique. --IRR, Mar'13
Top customer reviews
Coupling this with Mendelssohn's 'other' Violin Concerto (the D minor) is relatively rare (though Mullova and Marriner did this on Philips a while back), but to release this hot-on-the-heels of the staggering account from Alina Ibragimova and Jurowski with the OAE on Hyperion (which also features both concertos plus the Hebrides Overture) seems foolhardy to me. Ibragimova is able to make the most well-worn of war-horses sound fresh (I just don't know how she does it, but she does). Yang, sadly, does not, though you do get slightly better value for money on the Naxos CD: as well as the two concertos you also get a very good account of the F minor sonata (instead of the Hebrides).
A very good, solid set of performances then, but nothing breath-taking. If you're really counting the pennies and are after these three works on a single disc, then you could certainly do worse than this; but for just a couple more pounds, Ibragimova provides a more invigorating, `period-style' account.
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