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Mendelssohn’s E minor violin concerto is one of the composer’s greatest works, and one of the most popular violin concertos in the repertoire.
Making his first recording of the work, James Ehnes is partnered by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia, recorded live.
The astonishingly precocious Octet, written when Mendelssohn was just 16, is given a sparking and vivacious performance by James and his friends from the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
His previous ONYX release of the Paganini 24 Caprices was universally praised by reviewers worldwide.
Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64: I. Allegro molto appassionato
Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64: II. Andante
Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64: III. Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace
Octet in E-Flat, Op. 20: I. Allegro moderato ma con fuoco
Octet in E-Flat, Op. 20: II. Andante
Octet in E-Flat, Op. 20: III. Scherzo
Octet in E-Flat, Op. 20: IV. Presto
19th November 2010
“Ehnes’s gorgeous, supple tone is combined with that instinct for a composer’s distinctive character that makes his interpretations so compelling. Ashkenazy conducts with delicacy and strength...Ehnes’s innate sensibility draws him into the music’s milieu for a performance that is outstanding and unreservedly recommended.”
21st November 2010
“Brisk tempi mark out James Ehnes's reading of Mendelssohn's perennial concerto; there is nothing cloying or sentimental, even in the luscious slow movement where lesser violinists are tempted to wallow. Instead, he gives a beautifully sincere, unaffected performance”
“The first thing that hits you about Ehnes's reading is the rhythmic propulsion of the concerto's outer movements, which lifts the music, revealing its glorious bone-structure...the sense is of a joyous, exhilarating ride rather than anything overly driven...Another aspect which is particularly winning is the creaminess of Ehnes's lower register...this is absolutely up there with the best of them.”
“His tone...is sweet in all registers and the intonation true”
“The Octet has rarely sounded more symphonic as Ehnes and his Seattle friends demonstrate all the energy and wit of chamber playing at its most dazzling. Ehnes gives an elegant, refined account of the Violin Concerto that highlights its unconventional structure, but it's not without emotion. Including the exhilarating Octet makes it unmissable.”
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