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When reflecting on Nicola Benedetti’s varied career to date it’s easy to forget that she has only just turned 23. Benedetti shot into the public spotlight as winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 16 and has since released four albums for Deutsche Grammophon while building a solid international career.
Benedetti’s career was crowned this summer when she made her BBC Proms debut, performing Vaughan Williams’ ‘The Lark Ascending’ in the Royal Albert Hall. Other recent and upcoming highlights include debuts with the Russian National Orchestra, as well as her Dallas and Pittsburg debuts.
In her previous recordings Benedetti has always made creative repertoire choices with innovative groupings of pieces. Works have included world premiere recordings by leading British composers such James MacMillan and Sir John Tavener. But now Benedetti, for the first time, has recorded two giants of the violin concerto repertoire, the Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, op.35 and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op.26.
The Tchaikovsky and Bruch concertos, composed in 1878 and 1866 respectively, are two of the best-known – and best-loved - concertos in the repertoire. In the case of the Tchaikovsky it is also one of the most technically demanding.
Although Benedetti’s fifth album for Deutsche Grammophon, this will be her first of entirely standard violin repertoire. With this album, Benedetti has recorded works against which all violinists must test themselves.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto In D Opus 35: I Allegro Moderato
Violin Concerto In D Opus 35: I Allegro Moderato
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto In D Opus 35: II Canzonetta - Andante
Violin Concerto In D Opus 35: II Canzonetta - Andante
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto In D Opus 35: III Finale Allegro Vivacissimo
Violin Concerto In D Opus 35: III Finale Allegro Vivacissimo
Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor Opus 26: I Vorspiel - Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor Opus 26: I Vorspiel - Allegro moderato
Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor Opus 26: II Adagio
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor Opus 26: II Adagio
Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26: III Finale: Allegro energico
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26: III Finale: Allegro energico
“Her tone is beautiful, and more varied than in some of her earlier recordings: she can be caressing, incisive and yielding within a short space of time.”
“...a sweetness of tone...lends a charming vulnerability to her performance, which suits the slow movement [of the Tchaikovsky] beautifully...the lush, romantic sound of the Bruch suits her assured and lyrical playing.”
“Nicola Benedetti can be proud of this disc...there's a flexibility, a confidence and a rapport here that makes for consistently rewarding listening...hers is so well thought-out an interpretration [of the Tchaikovsky] and it's so alertly accompanied that it merits serious attention: it is a performance that has few quirks but bags of conviction”
29th October 2010
“Her approach to the Tchaikovsky is both full-blooded and sensitive. She rides the first movement’s emotional storms with utter confidence and complete command of old Romantic tricks...The central canzonetta is taken very slowly, yet the flow of feeling never stops, and her magically sustained pianissimos deserve an Oscar.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.