For the Record, Op. 88: Nicola Benedetti-Wynton Marsalis; Maxim Vengerov-Shanghai; Fenella Humphreys

July 11, 2019, 12:31 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!

Marsalis: Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite
Nicola Benedetti, violin
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Wynton Marsalis, conductor and composer

"Nicky said she wanted a piece that would allow her to inhabit an expansive range of human emotions," Marsalis told Decca, in describing the violin concerto he wrote for Nicola Benedetti. "Though I have long loved the violin, she schooled me in its august history, in its tremendous expressive capabilities, and in a compendium of old and new techniques. From a very young age, Nicky’s dream was to move people with the magic of virtuosity and the warmth of her sound. The concerto begins with her telling us the story of her dream, the playing of it IS the realization of that dream, and it ends with her going down the road to play for the next gathering." Click here to read our interview with Nicola Benedetti about the creation of this concerto.

Maxim Vengerov, violin
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Long Yu conducting

China's oldest symphony, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra marks its 140th anniversary with a new partnership with Deutsche Grammophon. The orchestra and its Music Director Long Yu are launching a series of albums featuring works by major Chinese composers. "Gateways," the first of these, features two works by Qigang Chen: "Wu Xing" (The Five Elements) from 1999, and "La joie de la souffrance" (The Joy of Suffering) from 2017 - as well as Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and Kreisler’s Tambourin chinois. Violinist Maxim Vengerov is the dedicatee and first performer of "La joie de la souffrance." Click here to read our interview with composer Qigang Chen about this work. BELOW: Vengerov performs the beginning of the first movement, "Despair," from Qigang Chen's "La joie de la souffrance" (The Joy of Suffering)

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter
Fenella Humphreys, violin
Covent Garden Sinfonia, Ben Palmer conducting

Post-minimalist composer Max Richter's Recomposed (2012) is a re-imagining of Vivaldi's famous Four Seasons that retains about a quarter of the original music. "He brings so many new colors and new sound worlds to Vivaldi," violinist Fenella Humphreys said. "The essence remains, and it becomes this entirely new thing....It's an awful lot of fun." The album also includes Peteris Vasks' "Lonely Angel" and Arvo Pärt's "Fratres." BELOW: Fenella Humphreys and Ben Palmer discuss the evolution of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Max Richter’s re-composition.

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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