For the Record, Op. 41: Johnny Gandelsman's Bach S&Ps; Hilary Hahn's 'Retrospective'; Alfredo Campoli collection

January 18, 2018, 3:54 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!

Johnny Gandelsman
Johnny Gandelsman.

Bach’s Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Violin
Johnny Gandelsman

Johnny Gandelsman, a member of the Silk Road Ensemble and a founding member of Brooklyn Rider, makes his solo album debut with J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Violin. The project was launched in 2015: "After spending more than a decade working in collaborative settings, I wanted to focus inward and look for my own voice again," Gandelsman said. "I also suspected that, having worked with non-classical musicians like Iranian kamancheh legend Kayhan Kalhor, master Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, and American composer and banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, my understanding of Bach’s music would evolve, if I gave it the proper focus." That year, Gandelsman performed Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas on 15 occasions. Lloyd Schwartz, describing a live performance on NPR’s Fresh Air, said: "I’ve heard some famous violinists attempt this epic feat, but none of them gripped me and delighted me as thoroughly as Gandelsman." Raised in a musical family in Russia and Israel, Gandelsman began his studies with Natalya Boyarskaya, continuing with Felix Andrievsky and Maya Glezarova, legendary pedagogues of the Russian violin school. After winning medals at the Menuhin and Kreisler International Violin Competitions, he moved to the U.S., where he studied with Jascha Brodsky and Arnold Steinhardt at the Curtis Institute of Music. BELOW: Johnny Gandelsman performs the complete Bach Sonatas & Partitas in 2015:

Hilary Hahn

Hilary Hahn's latest is an album that showcases all 12 of her recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, along with a new, unedited live performance from a 2016 Berlin recital with pianist Cory Smythe. The LP version was recorded using rare direct-to-disc technique. The recording includes the live performance of Mozart's Sonata KV 379, in addition to Max Richter's “Mercy” and Tina Davidson's “Blue Curve of the Earth,” with pianist Cory Smythe, from In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores. The double-disc LP version, which has fewer tracks overall but incorporates some additional favorite tracks, replaces “Blue Curve of the Earth” with the live recording of Mark-Anthony Turnage's “Hilary’s Hoedown,” which is also from her Encores project. In assembling this compilation, she listened to all of her DG recordings from beginning to end and realized that certain movements and pieces resonated particularly strongly with her musical trajectory. For the album art, Hilary chose from the hundreds of pieces of art given to her by fans, with the cover art by Christine Fraser. BELOW: Hilary Hahn and pianist Cory Smythe perform "Mercy," by Max Richter. The new album contains a live version of this piece, which was written for Hilary as part of her encores project, In 27 Pieces.

Alfredo Campoli: The Bel Canto Violin:

Alfredo Campoli, violin
George Malcolm, piano, harpsichord
Born in Rome, and taught by his father who had been a professional violinist there, Campoli grew up in London listening to and learning from records of the great singers of the age: he subsequently toured with Nellie Melba and Clara Butt. Accordingly, his own playing was often likened to bel canto singing, which had its own stylistic roots in Italian Baroque principles of melodic phrasing and opportunities for virtuoso display. All the recordings in this series were remastered from original Decca sources. Essays in the booklets are written by Campoli’s biographer, David Tunley. BELOW: A sampling of selections from the series.

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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January 19, 2018 at 07:30 PM · Gandelsman’s Bach VSP CD is pretty great! He’s taking more time than in the video, while the agogic, phrasing, and voicing is more polished, for a beautifully paced performance. He thus joins the Baroque violin pantheon of Holloway, Podger, and Christine Busch, not a small feat! Well done...

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