Viktoria Mullova

Violin

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Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2


Prokofiev:

Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Jarvi

Sonata in D major for solo violin, Op. 115

Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op. 56

with Tedi Papavrami (violin II)


Viktoria Mullova’s new ONYX album is an all Prokofiev affair recorded live, with the lyrical 2nd violin concerto joined with the solo violin sonata and the sonata for two violins. Robert Soetens premiered the Duo Sonata in Paris in December 1932, partnered by Samuel Dushkin, for whom Stravinsky had recently composed a Violin Concerto. Knowing of Prokofiev’s rivalry with Stravinsky, Soetens persuaded Prokofiev to write him a concerto. Composed in 1935 just before Prokofiev resettled in Soviet Russia, the Second Violin Concerto includes in its central movement one of his most celebrated long-arching melodies. The Solo Sonata was an official commission towards the end of Prokofiev’s life.

Originally intended for an ensemble of talented child violinists, Prokofiev so wrote the work that it could equally be played by a soloist. Paavo Jarvi and Viktoria Mullova have been close musical collaborators for many years.

“an immensely enjoyable release.” MusicWeb International, September 2015

“Viktoria Mullova's admirers will welcome this chance to hear her latest thoughts on a favourite concerto…don't expect the sweet unflappability of Guro Kleven Hagen in the main work; Mullova's interpretation is made of sterner stuff…[her] sound is as big and well-rounded as ever, not without that familiar touch of steel…competition is fierce, but then Mullova is in a league of her own.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2015

“Mullova’s playing…is, at all times, utterly faithful to the score and is totally committed to the great Russian composer … the performances of both Sonatas could surely not be improved upon by any artist, and Mullova’s commitment here raises the stature of these works considerable.” Musical Opinion, October-December 2015

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Stradivarius in Rio

Stradivarius in Rio


Abreu:

Tico-tico no fubá

Azevedo, W:

Brasileirinho

Baptista, A:

Balada de um louco

Costa, S:

Segue teu destino

Jobim:

Dindi

Chovendo na roseira

Falando de amor

Por toda minha vida

Monte:

Vilarejo

Nucci:

Toada

Rocha Vianna Filho:

Rosa

Veloso, C:

Luz do sol

Vogeler:

Linda Flor (Ai ioio)


Viktoria Mullova (violin), Matthew Barley (cello), Paul Clarvis (percussion), Luis Guello (dr, perc), Carioca Freitas (guitar)

Brazil and everything Brazilian is going to be very much in the news in 2014 with the World Cup taking place there. Brazilian music and the spirit of Rio will be everywhere, so Viktoria Mullova’s new album ‘Stradivarius in Rio’ arrives at just the right time!

Working with musicians from Rio and London, Viktoria has selected 13 wonderfully evocative songs from some of the great composers of Brazilian popular music including Caetano Veloso and Antonio Carlos Jobim, to name just two. All the songs are heard in stunning new arrangements and you will be surprised at how many you know. 'Stradivarius in Rio' is a wonderfully evocative album that captures the sound and spirit of Rio and its unique music.

“Occasionally there's a feeling as with so many crossover classical attempts that the whole thing is too tasteful and careful, but what wins out here is Mullova's sheer dancing virtuosity in Tico tico and Brasileirinho – these are as dazzling as the sights and sounds of Brazil.” The Observer, 6th April 2014 ****

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JS Bach: Concertos

JS Bach: Concertos


Bach, J S:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1042

Violin Concerto in D, BWV1053 arr. harpsichord No. 2 in E

Concerto for Violin & Harpsichord in C minor, BWV1060 arr. from Concerto for Violin & Oboe/Concerto for two harpsichords

with Ottavio Dantone (harpsichord)


Viktoria Mullova renews her partnership with long-term collaborator Ottavio Dantone in a programme of concertos for violin, offering not only the two famous concertos, but two concertos arranged for violin from the 2nd harpsichord concerto, and a concerto for violin and harpsichord which listeners may recognise from its violin and oboe guise – even this was arranged by Bach himself from the original for two harpsichords. Bach himself was a great re-user of material, and many concerto movements (including some from lost concertos) appeared in his cantatas. Mullova and Dantone have worked together for many years, both recording and in concert. They wanted to find a piece they could both play with orchestra, and BWV1060 in this brilliant arrangement is the result – the overall composition is enriched by a range of new nuances.

Viktoria Mullova’s Bach recordings for ONYX have been widely acclaimed worldwide, and of her recording of the 'Partitas and Sonatas' for solo violin, the Sunday Times said ‘they exemplify the best of old and new stylistic approaches to Bach’s masterpieces’, selecting the recording as their Classical CD of the week.

“thrilling, robustly profiled accounts” The Observer, 5th May 2013

“Mullova plays the two solo concertos elegantly, with beautiful precision and, in the middle movement, considerable eloquence.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“Breezy tempi, scintillating details and muscular bowing in the allegros cede to slow movements of thoughtfully differentiated timbres” The Independent, 6th July 2013

“Mullova plays the glorious ‘Siciliano’ second movement beautifully, while tongue-in-cheek elaborations in the accompaniment lend a sense of uninhibited exuberance to the finale… The two orginal concertos match anything else on disc.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 ****

“The Violin Concertos in E major and A minor are served wonderfully. Both performances are transparent and light but always expressively engaging… Dantone’s continuo in the first movement of the E major finds Mullova revealing a tremendous depth of feeling.” International Record Review, July/August 2013

“The sensitive playing of [the] lyrical Siciliano is a high point in an interesting, well-executed programme.” Early Music Today

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The Making of 'The Peasant Girl'

The Making of 'The Peasant Girl'

Documentary and recording session footage


DuOud arr. Barley: For Nedim

John Lewis/Bratsch arr. Barley: Django

Florian Hermann arr. Barley: Dark Eyes

Bratsch arr. Barley: Er Nemo Klantz with Bartok Duos

Weather Report (Joe Zawinul) arr. Barley: The Peasant

Bartok: 7 Duos with improvisations

Barley: Yura

Bratsch arr. Barley: Bi Lovengo

Weather Report (Joe Zawinul) arr. Barley: The Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat


Released in the summer of 2011, Viktoria Mullova’s genre defying recording 'The Peasant Girl' was released to critical acclaim and much media coverage. A world tour for the album is now underway.

This DVD charts the making of the recording at London’s prestigious Abbey Road Studios, and the camera catches Viktoria and the Matthew Barley Ensemble performing complete tracks and relaxing and talking between sessions. The documentary is a moving insight into the 'Peasant Girl' project, why and how it all came together.

This is music making of the highest order. Viktoria’s rural origins in Ukraine are reflected in the programme that combines elements of classical music and jazz and reflects the phenomenal influence that the gypsies have had on swathes of 20th century music.

'The Peasant Girl' is blissfully free from the misleading shackles of genre.

“Crossover projects like this can be fraught with disaster, but The Peasant Girl succeeds nicely, largely in part to the quality of the collaborators...And you don’t doubt that these five musicians actually enjoyed making the recording; it’s fun to see them tackling such a quirky range of material encompassing Weather Report and Youssou N’Dour. This is well worth a watch” The Arts Desk, 14th December 2011

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Viktoria Mullova: The Peasant Girl

Viktoria Mullova: The Peasant Girl


CD1

1 For Nedim (For Nadia) – Du Oud arr. Barley

2 Django – John Lewis/Bratsch arr. Barley

3 Dark Eyes – Florian Hermann arr. Barley

4 Er Nemo Klantz with Bartók Duos –

7. Walachian Songs 11. Pillow Dance 44. Transylvanian Dance

5 The Peasant – Weather Report (Joe Zawinul, arr. Barley)

6 Bartók – Duos with improvisations: 7 Duos for violin and cello (from 44 Duos for two violins):

10. Ruthenian Song 22. Mosquito Dance 33. Harvest Song 28. Sorrow 26. Teasing Song 11. Cradle Song 35. Ruthenian Kolomeika

7 Yura – Barley (on a Russian folk theme – Lyuba)

CD2

1 Bi Lovengo – Bratsch arr. Barley

2 Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat

– Weather Report (Joe Zawinul, arr. Barley)

3 Life – Youssou N’Dour

4 Duo for violin and cello op. 7 – Kodály


Viktoria Mullova (violin), Matthew Barley (cello), Julian Joseph (piano), Paul Clarvis (drums/percussion) & Sam Walton (percussion)

All the music in this eclectic programme reflects the phenomenal influence of gypsy music on both classical and jazz music in the 20th century – even when wearing smart ‘classical’ clothes, the music of the gypsies cannot disguise its honesty, directness and the heart beating inside the clothes.

So here we have Bartók and Kodály, the two great Hungarian composers who made comprehensive studies of folk music, alongside the world of jazz, represented by John Lewis’s Django, and the Weather Report tracks.

The music also has strong connections with Viktoria Mullova’s background. Viktoria Mullova hails from the Ukraine, where only two generations ago, her family lived simple lives, living off the land in a small village. The simple peasant qualities – calmness, honesty and simplicity – are very much part of her. Although she has conquered the most sophisticated works of Western classical music, the music on these CDs shares something of her other side.

“[this disc] mingles gypsy-influenced jazz compositions by the Modern Jazz Quartet and Weather Report with several of Bartók's folk-derived pieces and Zoltan Kodály's three-part "Duo for violin and cello". The latter's astringent, bare-wire tonalities are the standout here, aptly described by Barley as not so much classical influenced by gypsy music, as gypsy music with a smart set of clothes.” The Independent, 24th June 2011 ***

“The programme, which initially looked bitty, adds up to a coherent sequence...All of the performance have energy and imagination, and even though Kodaly's Duo, passionately played by Mullova and Barley, might seem at a tangent to the rest, it makes perfect sense as the culmination of a beautifully recorded album.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 *****

“sit back and enjoy the brilliant, imaginative playing, with its interesting dialogue between the performance styles of jazz and classical music...[Mullova] certainly sounds spontaneous but retains a disciplined polish from her classical training...all in all this is a very stimulating programme, performed with flair and finesse.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2011

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Beethoven - Violin Sonatas Nos. 3 & 9

Beethoven - Violin Sonatas Nos. 3 & 9


Beethoven:

Violin Sonata No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 No. 3

Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer'


Viktoria Mullova (violin) & Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)

Following hard on the heels of her critically acclaimed Bach Sonatas and Partitas (ONYX4040), this new CD of Beethoven’s 3rd and 9th violin sonatas sees Viktoria Mullova partner with fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in performances that are both searching and exciting. This recording marks the 50th release from ONYX, and the 5th anniversary of the label.

Mullova’s plays on her 1750 Guadagnini with gut strings, and with a baroque bow by Walter Barbiero. Bezuidenhout plays a restored Viennese fortepiano dating from 1816.

“[The Kreutzer is] freshly reimagined by Mullova. Her tense, wiry sound combines ideally with the 1822 piano that Bezuidenhout can pound to its very limits without overwhelming her; there is beautiful use of the quiet dampened register, which, combined with pizzicato violin, sounds magical.” The Observer, 23rd May 2010

“The pitch is dark (approximately a quarter tone below modern concert pitch), the articulation bold, the textures volatile...A provocative and highly expressive reading.” The Independent on Sunday, 30th May 2010

“Even the doubters and period-performance sceptics might be persuaded by the sheer musicality of these performances, and by the fresh blend and delicate balance of colours that they encompass...There is a real sense here of a musician doing something she believes in, not for any narrow “authentic” purpose but because it brings the music to life in a new way.” The Telegraph, 1st June 2010 *****

“A tone gritty but bright, notes and phrases crackling with fire...[Mullova]’s not the only source of sparks...Kristian Bezuidenhout [is] a fortepiano specialist of sparkling powers...Above all, the fortepiano and the gut-stringed violin bring extra excitement, danger even, to Beethoven’s music, never designed for purring quietly on a shelf.” The Times, 11th June 2010 ****

“Mullova's tone has enough variety and character not to need more than occasional touches of vibrato...Bezuidenhout remembers that pianists in Beethoven's day would often spread chords, and he and Mullova both add to the ebullient feeling with improvised flourishes.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2010

“[Mullova] shows a profoundly un-diva-ish appreciation of the way the relationship between the violin and piano changes in these two sonatas...In the earlier sonata it's Kristian Bezuidenhout's agility and minute clarity of articulation that dominate...Right from the start of the Kreutzer Mullova steps centre stage, as Beethoven obviously meant her to.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ****

“Mullova sets a new benchmark for the Beethoven violin sonatas. Her disc has two defining characteristics – the “period” approach she and Bezuidenhout adopt, and the volatility and danger they find in the music. The two facets are interdependent...Mullova gives the music an invigorating sense of attack” Financial Times, 16th October 2010 ****

Building a Library

Also Recommended - October 2010

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


“To hear Mullova play Bach is, simply, one of the greatest things you can experience”, wrote the London Guardian.

ONYX now proudly announces Viktoria Mullova’s first COMPLETE recording of the Bach Sonatas & Partitas.

For Philips in the early 90s Viktoria recorded the 3 Partitas on a modern violin but has never recorded the Sonatas, and in the meantime her interpretations have been transformed by her studies in Baroque practice and her subsequent performances with masters such as Gardiner, Dantone, Harnoncourt, Antonini and il Giardino Armonico.

Mullova’s fifth release on ONYX: previous releases including Bach Sonatas with Dantone (ONYX4020) and Vivaldi Concertos with Giardino Armonico (ONYX4001)

2CDs for the price of 1.5. Deluxe digipak format with booklet containing article by Viktoria herself explaining her long and still-evolving journey working on Bach

“In this recording Viktoria Mullova presents virtually flawless playing but, of greater importance, she sustains an impeccably punctuated, modulated and compelling dialogue through Bach's counterpoint with seemingly effortless intimacy and charm.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2009 ****

“These are outstanding performances… Mullova brings together several ideal qualities for a Bach player. Firstly, there's a secure sense of style… Then there's her superior, virtuoso's technique, producing beautifully precise tuning and, in the fugal movements finely controlled, varied and euphonious playing of the most densely polyphonic passages. To this we can add her deep musical understanding; by means of subtle emphasis and natural dynamic contrasts, she draws our attention to the beauty of Bach's harmonic progressions and to the balance and grandeur of his designs.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2009

“Mullova's sense of an ongoing musical line is immaculate and totally unselfconscious, the authority of her performances is never in doubt.” The Guardian, 15th May 2009 ****

“This set of Bach's six solo Sonatas and Partitas BWV1001-6 represents the first fruits of Mullova's full adoption of period tools of the trade alongside her assimilation of an apposite style of playing. And what remarkable discs they are. This is wonderfully fluent, absorbingly imaginative playing.” The Telegraph, 7th April 2009 *****

“The virtuosity is stunning; the complex fugues in the C major and A minor sonatas are perfectly lucid, and the great D minor chaconne rises to an electrifying mid-point climax.” The Observer, 5th April 2009

“Viktoria Mullova plays a gut-strung Guadagnini (in modern set-up) at low pitch, using a Baroque-style bow, so it's with the period instrument Bach recordings that Mullova can be most usefully compared.
These are outstanding performances, however, whatever category they belong to. Mullova brings together several ideal qualities for a Bach player. Firstly, there's a secure sense of style, apparent equally in the rhythm and character of each of the Partitas' dances, and in the ornamented introductory movements of the first two Sonatas. Then there's her superior, virtuoso's technique, producing beautifully precise tuning and, in the fugal movements, finely controlled, varied and euphonious playing of the most densely polyphonic passages. To this we can add her deep musical understanding; by means of subtle emphasis and natural dynamic contrasts, she draws our attention to the beauty of Bach's harmonic progressions and to the balance and grandeur of his designs. Even on the few occasions where Mullova isn't entirely convincing the poise and sheer quality of the playing remains extremely persuasive.
There have been many fine recent recordings of these works, but this one is definitely not to be missed.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Onyx - ONYX4040

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Vivaldi - Concertos for Two Violins

Vivaldi - Concertos for Two Violins


Vivaldi:

Concerto in G major for two Violins RV 516

Concerto in D major for Two Violins, RV 511

Concerto in A minor for Two Violins, RV 523

Concerto in D minor for two Violins RV 514

Concerto in B flat major for two Violins RV 524

Concerto in C minor for two Violins RV 509


Two of today’s most charismatic, attractive and original violinists join forces for an album of Double Concertos by Antonio Vivaldi

Viktoria Mullova, “the most elegant, refined and sweetly expressive violinist on the planet” (The Chicago Tribune), and Giuliano Carmignola, “a prince among baroque violinists” (Gramophone), team up with one of the greatest early music ensembles – the Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon

This highly commercial repertoire has been recorded before but never by a world-class pair such as Mullova and Carmignola. Thus the album is very likely to become a best-seller

“A perfect partnership in glorious works that show the poetic side of the Vivaldi” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

“…sparkling playing with slow movements, in particular those belonging to RV 516 and RV 509 yielding an air of pure enchantment.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2008 ****

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Bach - Violin Sonatas

Bach - Violin Sonatas


Bach, J S:

Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Nos. 1-6, BWV1014-1019

Trio Sonata No. 5 in C major, BWV529

Violin Sonata in G major, BWV1021


Viktoria Mullova (violin), Ottavio Dantone (harpsichord, organ), Vittorio Ghielmi (viola da gamba) & Luca Pianca (lute)

“To hear Mullova play Bach is, simply, one of the greatest things you can experience” The Guardian

“Mullova's warm tone and lightly articulated playing - the Allegro of the A major Sonata affords a particularly rewarding instance - are substantial rewards in themselves, but over and above these she and her keyboard partner prove a stylish and sympathetically matched duo.” BBC Music Magazine, Proms 2007 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month

Onyx - ONYX4020

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Viktoria Mullova & Katia Labeque - Recital

Viktoria Mullova & Katia Labeque - Recital


Ravel:

Violin Sonata in G major

Schubert:

Fantasie in C major for violin and piano, D934

Schumann, Clara:

Romances (3), Op. 22

Stravinsky:

Suite italienne


Viktoria Mullova & Katia Labeque

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