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The Romantic Violin Concerto 12 - Vieuxtemps
Hyperion’s 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 Hyperion’s overview of Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concertos and Volume 12 of the burgeoning Romantic Violin Concerto series.
Henry Vieuxtemps (1820–1881) 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.
“rhythmically taut, meticulously executed performances...few will be able to resist Hanslip's deliciously coquettish handling of the rondo movements of both concertos.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012
“At 40 minutes, the First Concerto has its longeurs...But it's beautifully shaped by Martyn Brabbins, with a warm resonant sound to the recording, and Chloe Hanslip's entry doesn't disappoint. There's a lovely depth to her tone in the dolce first theme, and the acrobatics which Vieuxtemps puts her through...are meaningfully phrased with a variety of tone and dynamics.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****
“Hanslip brings a wealth of neatly sculpted phrasing to bear to the E major, her feminine sounding wistfulness warmed with just enough tremulousness to vest the music with a particularly satisfying sense of characterisation.” MusicWeb International, June 2012
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Vieuxtemps: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 4
“Fasten your seat-belts, and prepare for an exciting journey through some of the most fiendish technical difficulties yet devised for the virtuoso violinist. Composed in the mid-19th century, these are works that demand incredible feats of dexterity, and in the scintillating American violinist, Misha Keylin, they have found a supreme master. The orchestras don't have a great deal to do, but they do it well. Forget price connotations, Keylin's firebrand brilliance is absolutely priceless.” Yorkshire Evening Post, 3rd May 2000
(also available to download from $6.00)
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Vieuxtemps: Complete Violin Concertos
Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Patrick Davin
This is really an event in the world of recordings. Producing all of Vieuxtemps’ seven violin concertos is quite an undertaking. Too much for a single person? It may be. For Augustin Dumay, master teacher-in-residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, however, this was the opportunity to pay tribute to the vitality of the Franco-Belgian school, the substance of which he learnt through his master Arthur Grumiaux. The task was taken up by seven young virtuosos he has taught, several of whom have already distinguished themselves in major international competitions. This is the result, impressive by its commitment and mastery, registered in the beautiful hall of the Liege Philharmonic, where the orchestra plays Vieuxtemps in its own backyard under the expert baton of Patrick Davin.
This attractive box of 3 CDs is also the opportunity to retrace Vieuxtemps’ extraordinary career, often reduced to mere virtuosity when in fact he pursued a search for expression and content all his life.
This is a hymn to the violin, to belcanto, panache and romanticism
“when almost all the performances, in uniformly excellent sound, challenge, if not supplant, those already available, then the enterprising Fuga Libera label can feel justifiably proud of its vision and execution...This handsomely presented fold-out set of discs with its detailed booklet...comes warmly recommended to every lover of bravura violin works with a sweet tooth.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2011
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