For the Record, Op. 23: Simone Lamsma; Eybler Quartet; Vadim Gluzman; Fabio Biondi

May 11, 2017, 12:51 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77; Gubaidulina: In tempus praesens
Simone Lamsma, violin
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, James Gaffigan conducting

"Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto is particularly original: The opening movement (Nocturne) is a beautiful song, blossoming from a single melodic fragment. The Scherzo is biting and dazzling virtuosic, like a carousel gone wild. The ensuing Passacaglia is, quite simply, the pinnacle of this concerto; a masterpiece - mature, elegiac and highly lyrical. The concerto closes with a Burlesque, in which the theme from the Passacaglia has one final, piercing reappearance." Gubaidulina wrote "In tempus praesens" for German soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who premiered it at the Lucerne Festival in 2007. Below: a 2010 performance of Lamsma performing the 4th Movement of Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.:

Johann Baptist Vanhal, String Quartets, Op. 6
Eybler Quartet
Aisslinn Nosky, violin
Julia Wedman, violin
Patrick G. Jordan, viola
Margaret Gay, cello

Czech-born composer Johann Baptist Vanhal was actually the most widely published Viennese composer from 1771 to 1781, far outstripping the elder Haydn or the young Mozart, according to the Eybler Quartet. Second only to Haydn in the number of string quartets and symphonies to his credit, Vanhal was a significant innovators in the development of the Classical style. Here, the Eybler Quartet, with members from ensembles such as Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and the Handel & Haydn Society, perform all six of Vanhal's string quartets on period instruments. "This is perhaps the cheeriest, happiest classical recording we will ever make - or that you might ever hear," said quartet violist Jordan. "There are no quartets in minor keys. In fact, there are no movements that do anything more than briefly visit that darker side. And yet there is huge variety in expression." Here's a little sample of that cheery music, the first movement from Vanhal's String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 6:

Brahms Concerto and Sonata no. 1
Vadim Gluzman
Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, James Gaffigan conducting
Angele Yoffe, piano

Premiered by Joseph Joachim on New Year’s Day 1879, the Brahms Violin Concerto is a perennial favorite for us fiddle players. Gluzman also performs the Violin Sonata No. 1 with his wife and recital partner, pianist Angela Yoffe. Here they are, playing the first movement from that sonata:

Jean-Marie Leclair: Violin Concertos, Op. 7, Nos. 1, 3-5
Fabio Biondi, violin
Europa Galante

"Jean-Marie Leclair epitomized the idea of an eighteenth-century virtuoso-composer, one whose compositional output largely reflects his activity as a performer. The virtuoso violinist became a highly sought-after teacher, and a full generation of musicians were recipients of his teaching. Leclair published twelve concertos for violin in two sets, Op. 7 and Op. 10. The Op. 7 collection, of which four concertos have been included in this recording, is without doubt partially made up of works which Leclair performed at the Concert Spirituel between 1728 and 1736. The scholar Louis Castelain of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles provides the booklet notes."

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.


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