James Ehnes

Violin

James Ehnes

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.

Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 6 & 9

Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 6 & 9


Beethoven:

Violin Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 30 No. 1

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


James Ehnes (violin), Andrew Armstrong (piano)

The duo of old friends James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong has established itself as one of the most exciting of our times. Their albums of violin sonatas by Franck & Strauss, and Debussy, Elgar & Respighi have been praised by critics worldwide. For this new album they turn to Beethoven and two A major sonatas with very different moods. The 9th, ‘Kreutzer’ sonata, is a huge work, heroic and turbulent in character – a kind of concerto for violin and piano. It is middle period Beethoven at its most dramatic. By contrast, the 6th sonata is a serene, introspective work of great beauty which has tended to be overlooked by its more outward-looking siblings. The intimacy of this sonata – especially the slow movement - is all the more surprising as the original finale was removed by the composer, to become the finale of the ‘Kreutzer’. Beethoven wrote the gentle variations to conclude the 6th sonata.

“There’s a clarity of ideas that means they never have to overstate...For some listeners, the featherweight diction won’t be brawny or volatile enough for mid-period Beethoven, but it would be wrong to mistake cleanliness for lack of emotional heft...The uncluttered, conversational generosity of this duo speaks volumes.” The Guardian, 16th February 2017 ****

“there is always room for performances as vital and compelling as these... it’s the subtle interplay between the two players, ceding to each other as they “converse” melodically in the central variation movement [of the Kreutzer], that impresses here.” Sunday Times, 12th March 2017

“[Kreutzer Sonata] Ehnes and Armstrong are ravishing in the slow movement, truly molto espressivo, while a sense of playfulness is apparent in every bar of the finale, setting the seal on a compelling addition to Ehnes and Armstrong's remarkable discography” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“they converse as equals, underpinned by an irreproachable technique…and imbue the whole with a mixture of youthfulness, energy and radiant maturity…the expressive variety of Ehnes’s playing – perfectly placed and controlled vibrato, impeccable intonation – is elegant and aesthetic; the piano playing of Armstrong is richly fleshed, broad in dynamic but perfectly controlled.” Diapason, April 2017 *****

“[Beethoven’s Sixth Sonata] responds particularly well to James Ehnes’s velvet cantabile and purity of intonation” The Strad, June 2017

“The Kreutzer Sonata is placed first, so we hear James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong presenting their credentials in turn – Ehnes with effortless accurate double stops, and Armstrong picking up the thread, matching phrasing and mood. The turbulent main section of the movement is absolutely precise in ensemble, and projects a wide gamut of tone and dynamics.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 ****

“An auspicious Beethoven recital by two outstanding musicians whose consonance and synergy are once again to the fore. While their Kreutzer sonata could perhaps do with a little more cut-and-thrust, these are nonetheless impeccably executed performances. Can more Beethoven now be expected from Ehnes and Armstrong? I look forward with interest” MusicWeb International, 18th July 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Onyx - ONYX4170

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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

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

15th Anniversary Edition - Remastered


James Ehnes (violin)

Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, violinist James Ehnes has been honored with many international prizes, including a GRAMMY, a Gramophone Award, and eleven JUNO Awards.

About this essential album in the Analekta discography : "Bach’s solo violin music has always very dear to my heart and central to my performing repertoire. Being able to record these monumental works early in my career was a rare privilege, and I will always be grateful to Analekta for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Though my interpretations have evolved over the years, and will continue to evolve throughout my life as I evolve myself, it gives me great pleasure to revisit these recordings and remember with pride the incredible journey of recording these masterpieces." James Ehnes

“Dazzling secure and fearlessly focused, Ehnes's Bach is a force to be reckoned with” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 ****

Analekta - AN287723

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Debussy, Elgar, Respighi & Sibelius: Violin Sonatas

Debussy, Elgar, Respighi & Sibelius: Violin Sonatas


Debussy:

Violin Sonata in G minor

Elgar:

Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82

Respighi:

Violin Sonata in B minor

Sibelius:

Berceuse from Pensees lyriques, Op. 40, No. 5


James Ehnes (violin), Andrew Armstrong (piano)

After a rapturous critical reception for their Franck & Strauss Violin Sonatas, [see below] James and Andrew turn their attention to three violin sonatas all composed around the years of World War I. The Sibelius 'Berceuse' also dates from the war years when Finland was isolated from the rest of Europe. Sibelius was short of money and busy writing the 6th and 7th symphonies, and planning his 8th: the six short pieces of Op. 79 were attractive to publishers who were wary of large scale works with little chance of commercial return during the hostilities. Debussy would die in 1918 and had, like Elgar, composed very little during the conflict. 'I want to work,' he wrote to his publisher Durand, 'not so much for myself, as to provide a proof, however small, that thirty million Boches can t destroy French thought'. Elgar told a friend 'I cannot do any real work with the awful shadow hanging over us' he said. Suffering from ill health, Elgar wrote the sonata in Sussex where a copse of gnarled lightning-ravaged trees, near his house on the South Downs, inspired him to embark on three late great chamber works. Respighi s sonata inhabits a heroic late romantic almost Brahmsian world, seemingly unscathed by the devastation of the War to end all wars .

“Debussy, Elgar and Respighi don’t usually come up in the same sentence, but all wrote their violin sonatas during or immediately following the first world war. James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong make of them a satisfying recital disc that showcases Ehnes’s warm tone and purposeful phrasing” The Guardian, 17th January 2016

“This programme of First World War-era violin sonatas is about much more than just ravishing sounds. Ehnes and Armstrong are intensely communicative duo partners and both can draw on a limitless palette of colours. They’ve chosen to bring out the darker facets of these three troubled works” Gramophone Magazine, June 2016

“This is a radiantly engineered album of music composed around the time of the Great War, played with beguiling elegance by James Ehnes and regular playing partner Andrew Armstrong.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 *****

“A well-conceived programme in first class performances.” MusicWeb International, May 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Onyx - ONYX4159

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons


Leclair, J-M:

Tambourin

Andrew Armstrong (piano)

Tartini:

Violin Sonata in G minor 'Devil's Trill'

Andrew Armstrong (piano)

Vivaldi:

The Four Seasons

Sydney Symphony Orchestra


James Ehnes (violin)

James Ehnes takes a break from the 19th and 20th century repertoire and has recorded for the first time in his career four of the most famous baroque violin concertos – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the first four works in his set of 12, Op. 8. James also directs the Sydney Symphony. Vivaldi provided his own sonnets as prefaces to each of the concertos and these are available from the Onyx website. The Vivaldi is prefaced by two famous violin sonatas – Tartini’s 'Devils Trill' in the skilful arrangement by Fritz Kreisler which is very faithful to the original text, to which Kreisler adds the famous cadenza in the finale.

Leclair, one the few composers to have been murdered, was known as ‘The French Corelli’. Of his Op. 9 set of 12 sonatas for violin, the third has become the most popular for its ‘Tambourin’ finale, depicting a pipe-and-drum dance with drone effects - all good fun!

“It’s the first time Ehnes has recorded The Four Seasons, and it was certainly worth the wait. The playing is everything you would expect from him: it’s warm, intelligent and beautifully judged, with sensitive and very effective orchestral accompaniment.” The Wholenote, November 2015

“Ehnes and his well-upholstered Sidney strings tend to play the notes rather than tell the story in a reading that, for all its elegance, is more faithful to the letter than the spirit of the score.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2015 ****

Onyx - ONYX4134

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Franck & Strauss: Violin Sonatas

Franck & Strauss: Violin Sonatas


Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major

Strauss, R:

Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 18

Wiegenlied, Op. 41 No. 1

transcribed for violin & piano

Waldseligkeit, Op. 49 No. 1

transcribed for violin & piano

Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4

transcribed for violin & piano


James Ehnes (violin) & Andrew Armstrong (piano)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

James Ehnes and long term musical partner Andrew Armstrong have performed both the Franck and Strauss violin sonatas many times and bring special insight to these works that only many years of performing them together can convey.

The Franck is one of the very greatest of all violin sonatas, and finds the composer at the height of his powers. The Strauss sonata is the work of a young man on the cusp of finding his unique musical voice, with echoes of Brahms mingling with flashes of the Strauss of Don Juan. The Allegretto in E dates from the very end of Strauss’s long career, and is a tender and beautifully poised miniature that displays no flagging of his creativity and inspiration. The disc ends with three of the composer’s most popular songs.

“conjures up this utterly serene state of bliss” CD Review

“James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong make a kaleidoscope of both sonatas that reflects their almost indistinguishable elements and which, in turn, honours the profoundly romantic nature of both works…there is rarely adequate justification for a new recording of either sonata in such an overstuffed catalogue but the unqualified musicianship and transcendent phrasing certainly offer one here” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

27th April 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

Onyx - ONYX4141

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Berlioz: Harold en Italie

Berlioz: Harold en Italie


Berlioz:

Harold en Italie, Op. 16

James Ehnes (viola)

Reverie et Caprice, Op. 8

James Ehnes (violin)

Rob Roy Overture


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The virtuosic and nine-times Juno-winning Canadian James Ehnes is centre stage in a new recording of orchestral works by Berlioz, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. This recording follows an extraordinarily rare concert in November 2014 with the same forces, in which James Ehnes played two Stradivarius, respectively a viola in the solo part of Harold en Italie – ‘symphony with a principal viola part’ in Berlioz’s words – and a violin for the solo in Rêverie et Caprice, both of which feature here.

Berlioz was never ashamed to recycle his music from one work to another, especially when the earlier work had been rejected by the public or by the composer himself. In 1834, Paganini asked Berlioz for a work in which he could display his power on a fine Stradivarius viola. Berlioz then composed the four-movement symphony Harold en Italie, incorporating passages from the Rob-Roy ouverture which he had recently rejected.

Similarly, Rêverie et Caprice was the form eventually given to an aria from the opera Benvenuto Cellini, unceremoniously booed in Paris in 1838. Berlioz transformed it into a violin solo piece three years later. It is the only piece Berlioz ever wrote for solo violin.

“[Ehnes] is the protagonist in this all-Berlioz programme, but the disc is equally distinguished by the lucid, exhilarating, smoothly contoured playing of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under that experienced Berliozian Sir Andrew Davis.” The Telegraph, 3rd May 2015 ****

“Ehnes’s viola-playing is warm and expansive, but it is in the relatively compact Rêverie et Caprice that he is at his graceful best, gliding through mercurial moodswings and maintaining a notably lyrical line.” The Guardian, 13th May 2015 ***

“Davis and his production team have worked hard to keep James Ehnes's quite ravishingly beautiful playing in focus..It sounds as if Davis sees the work as more lyrical and Romantic...than as a sequel to the experimentation of the Fantastique...he sets his soloist off well and gives worthwhile accounts of the shorter pieces.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHSA5155

(SACD)

Normally: $14.50

Special: $12.32

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Janáček: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2

Janáček: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2


Janacek:

Jealousy (original prelude to Jenufa)

The Fiddler's Child

Melina Mandozzi (violin)

Taras Bulba

The Ballad of Blaník

The Danube, symphonic poem

Susanna Andersson (soprano)

Violin Concerto 'Pilgrimage of the Soul'

James Ehnes (violin)


This is the second volume in our series devoted to the orchestral works of Janáček, with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner.

The repertoire on this disc includes some of the greatest programmatic pieces by the composer. Unsurprisingly, the first piece featured here is Jealousy – his first declared piece of programme music, originally written to preface the opera Jenůfa but never included in any production of it during his lifetime. Both The Ballad of Blaník and The Fiddler’s Child (also known as a ‘ballad for orchestra’) are characterised by the use of musicals symbols, reflecting the Czech poems on which the pieces are based and also some of the composer’s personal reflections and responses.

The one-movement Violin Concerto The Wandering of a Little Soul is a more mysterious piece, with uncertainties surrounding the title, the date of creation, and the goals of its composition. Like the unfinished Danube symphony, the version recorded here has been reconstructed by Miloš Štědroň and Leoš Faltus from Janáček’s sketches.

An interpretation of the famous tale by Gogol, Taras Bulba was completed in 1915 and was Janáček’s most substantial orchestral work to date. It is inflected with folk dances, battle and horse-riding music, suffering and love, and brought to a grandiloquent apotheosis, in orchestration of almost cinematic vividness.

“Gardner’s survey with the Bergen Phil taps into his boundless, brazen invention; that uniquely Janáčekian blend of rustic and caustic...Ehnes is a steely, forthright soloist in the Violin Concerto, and the Bergen players offer clean, mercurial momentum.” The Guardian, 23rd April 2015 ****

“James Ehnes is the plush-toned soloist, but it is the intense and gritty playing of the Bergeners, and Gardner’s evident empathy with Janacek, that make this music so compelling and dramatic.” Sunday Times, 10th May 2015

“Leader Milina Mandozzi does well to show the way through this mysterious, powerful work [The Fiddler's Child]...These must be difficult works to prepare and indeed to record; both playing and recording are vividly managed.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos Janacek: Orchestral Works - CHSA5156

(SACD)

Normally: $14.50

Special: $12.32

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

American Chamber Music

American Chamber Music


Barber:

String Quartet, Op. 11

Bernstein:

Piano trio

Carter, E:

Elegy

Copland:

Violin Sonata

Ives, C:

Largo for violin, clarinet and piano


James Ehnes (violin)

Seattle Chamber Music Society

James Ehnes and friends from the Seattle Chamber Music Society hit the road on a fascinating journey through chamber music by some of the giants of 20th-century American classical music.

Aaron Copland’s masterful Violin Sonata, Leonard Bernstein’s youthful and vibrant Piano Trio, and Samuel Barber’s B minor String Quartet with its famous Adagio slow movement (known the world over as ‘Barber’s Adagio’) are joined by Elliott Carter’s haunting 'Elegy' from early in his long career, and the other-worldly 'Largo' by that great maverick Charles Ives.

“Ehnes and Orion Weiss give a healthy, characterful, rhythmically buoyant account of Copland’s Violin Sonata...an outstandingly played disc that offers a fascinating snapshot of what American composers were doing in realms of chamber music during the Thirties and Forties.” The Telegraph, 23rd September 2014 *****

“The Copland Sonata gets a thoroughly efficient and rewarding performance from Ehnes and Orion Weiss, and Carter's early - and uncomplicated - Elegy highlights Richard O'Neill's mellifluous viola sound...the Barber Quartet confirms the excellence of the Seattle musicians in every way.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2014

“Ehnes is brilliant and incisive in the faster music, but his consistently intense vibrato seems at odds with Copland's moments of plain-speaking simplicity; pianist Orion Weiss is a model of clarity...These are accomplished performances on a disc that's imaginatively planned and ultimately rewarding.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2014 ****

“On this showing it comes as no surprise that James Ehnes’ star is in the ascendant; his colleagues are equally impressive. This is a disc of great music and is extremely well recorded and played by all concerned.” MusicWeb International, 5th November 2014

“[an] eminently refreshing programme … with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti employing an unadorned tone that ideally captures the often naïve simplicity of Ives … Elliot Carter’s Elegy for viola and piano…[is] given a tender and lyrical reading by violinist Richard O’Neil … This is an excellently recorded anthology that can be strongly recommended.” The Strad, December 2014

“An outstanding performance by violinist James Ehnes and pianist Orion Weiss of Copland's rarely-heard Violin Sonata. Both performers find a tender simplicity in the central slow movement, and a light, sprightly approach in the jolly final Allegretto.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, January 2015

“an unmissable, beautifully recorded collection.” Classical Music *****

Onyx - ONYX4129

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Khachaturian: Violin Concerto in D minor

Khachaturian: Violin Concerto in D minor


Khachaturian:

Violin Concerto in D minor

James Ehnes (violin)

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mark Wigglesworth

Shostakovich:

String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108

Ehnes Quartet

String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110

Ehnes Quartet


Khachaturian’s 1940 Violin Concerto was composed for and dedicated to David Oistrakh who gave the premiere in Moscow that year. It is an instantly accessible work, infused with the music of the composer’s native Armenia, with colourful use of the orchestra and dazzling virtuosity.

Shostakovich’s 15 String Quartets form the most important body of music in the quartet repertoire after those of Beethoven. The 8th is one of the most impressive in the canon, and dates from 1960. The dedication on the score reads ‘In remembrance of the victims of fascism and war’. It was premiered in Dresden, still badly scarred by the bombing of 1945. The 7th Quartet also dates from 1960, and is dedicated to the composer’s wife Nina, who had died in 1954. It is a compact, terse, highly emotional personal musical statement.

“Ehnes’ urgent and energetic finale [of the Khachaturian] is full of gypsy spirit and freshness without feeling too sweet-toothed...This rather unusual mix of concerto and chamber music only serves to increase the desirability of this release.” MusicWeb International, 3rd June 2014

“Ehnes, here beadily accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra ...communicates eloquently the energy and rhythmic adventure of the outer movements [of the Khachaturian], while enjoying the almost mystical mood of the central Andante.” The Observer, 15th June 2014 *****

“Wigglesworth’s Melbourne orchestra underlines Ehnes’s enthusiasm for the work with infectious elan. The coupling with two of Shostakovich’s greatest quartets is unexpected, but this is highly personal music, infused with folk idioms, yet darker and angrier. Ehnes et al perfectly capture its gloom and rage.” Sunday Times, 6th July 2014

Onyx - ONYX4121

(CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20


This is the second instalment in our series devoted to Tchaikovsky’s three great ballets. The first recording, of The Sleeping Beauty, was praised upon its release, described by a reviewer in American Record Guide as ‘one of the finest I’ve heard’. Here Neeme Järvi and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra present the complete version of Swan Lake, with the pre-eminent James Ehnes lending his magic to the violin solos. This was Tchaikovsky’s first full-length ballet, but its premiere in 1877, staged at Moscow’s Bolshoy Theatre, was by no means a resounding success. According to most accounts, the choreography was inept, the shabby sets and costumes were borrowed from other productions, and the orchestral playing was poor. Most ballet companies today base their productions on the 1895 revival by the distinguished choreographer Marius Petipa. Although this revival has been seen as more ‘danceable’, one may argue that the overall cuts and reordering ultimately destroyed Tchaikovsky’s ground plan of drama and tonality. Here we present Tchaikovsky’s original Bolshoy score of twenty-nine numbers across four acts, along with two supplementary numbers which Tchaikovsky provided not long after the premiere.

“There is music here seldom heard in the theatre...Some of Jarvi’s nifty tempi might prove undanceable, but his light touch keeps the Bergen players on their toes. Ehnes glitters in his virtuoso solos.” Sunday Times, 13th October 2013

“[Ehnes] is superb throughout...The Bergen Philharmonic offers the most polished playing, driven by Järvi at often faster than usual tempos...when it matters Järvi abandons his brisk manner for an understated yet manifest sensitivity to Tchaikovsky's poignant lyricism.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 *****

“The playing of the Bergen Philharmonic is crisp and powerful as required...Järvi always chooses apt tempi and he really has the music of Act 2 swinging along beautifully...the luxury casting of James Ehnes pays off with the absolute security and purity of sound of his playing in the Danse Russe.” MusicWeb International, 12th December 2013

“This is a lively and characterful Swan Lake...The Bergen Philharmonic savour the colour and contour of the dances and have been caught by the Chandos team in a recording that has bite and presence. Tchaikovsky's masterpiece in dance is presented in a compelling manner to please all the senses. A very fine swan indeed.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2014

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Neeme Järvi - up to 20% off

Chandos - CHSA5124(2)

(SACD - 2 discs)

Normally: $28.25

Special: $22.60

(also available to download from $16.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Page: 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

 Next >>

Copyright © 2002-17 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.