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Vieuxtemps: Romantic Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (Hyperion: CDA67878) CD
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Hyperions record of the month for May heralds a new collaboration with the brilliant young British violinist Chloë Hanslip, the former child prodigy famously signed to Warner Classics at the age of just fourteen. Here, she lends her now-mature talents to the second release in Hyperions overview of Vieuxtemps Violin Concertos and Volume 12 of the burgeoning Romantic Violin Concerto series. Henry Vieuxtemps (18201881) was a French violin virtuoso who, after the death of Paganini, was widely considered to be the best violinist in Europe. Besides being a brilliant player, he was a remarkably fine composer, as demonstrated in these, his first two concertos. Alongside the memorable violin fireworks, Vieuxtemps here shows a well-argued musical sensibility that straddles both the Classical and Romantic eras as well as the ability to write gorgeous, almost operatic slow movements in the best bel canto tradition.
There s a lovely depth to her tone in the dolce first theme, and the acrobatics which Vieuxtemps puts her through are just surmounted, with double-stops impeccably crafted even at speed, but are meaningfully phrased with a variety of tone and dynamics. Peformance **** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine, July'12
Chloe Hanslip more than copes with everything Vieuxtemps throws at her, treading a fine line between the throaty rawness that sometimes passes for spontaneity and Heifetzian Hyper-polish: she manages to sound fresh and well prepared at the same time. --IRR, July/Aug'12
Top Customer Reviews
I have always thought that to be rather unfair. The Wieniawski No 2 is a lovely work and the Vieuxtemps No 5 and to a lesser extent No 4 have had a foothold in the catalogue and attracted Heifetz, Perlman and Chung to make recordings .
What, however of No1 and No2. According to the booklet note these have like Beethoven's first two piano concertos , been reversed in dat . No 2 is a concise , classical work with a truly delightful slow movement an astonishing achievement for a sixteen year old - played with great tenderness by Hanslip and the Belgian orchestra expertly conducted by Brabbins .
No 1 is 40 minutes long . Known apparently as the Grand Concerto it was written when Vieuxtemps was still only 20 and has an opening movement of 25 minutes . I expected much note spinning and longeuers . I could not have been more wrong - delightful melody follows on from each other - to be followed by a very short slow movement and a zippy characterful finale . This work is a real discovery .
The Greeting to America is a clever calling card incorporating The Star Spangled Banner and Yankee Doodle Dandy no less . Hanslip and Brabbins play it with relish and without vulgarity .
These are delightful works , superbly played by Hanslip , the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Brabbins and I recommend it with all possible enthusiasm