For the Record, Op. 105: Johan Dalene and more

January 2, 2020, 5:05 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!

Johan Dalene
Violinist Johan Dalene.

Barber and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos
Johan Dalene, violin
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Blendulf conducting

Born in 2000, Swedish violinist Johan Dalene began playing the violin at the age of four and made his professional concerto debut three years later. A student at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, he has also worked closely with mentors including Janine Jansen, Leif Ove Andsnes and Gidon Kremer. Johan has been a prize winner at a number of competitions, most recently the Carl Nielsen Competition at which he won First Prize. During the finals of the Nielsen competition Johan performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, a work which he had already recorded for BIS two months earlier, in January 2019. On this debut recording, Johan plays with his local band: Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, known from many acclaimed recordings on BIS. The album closes with Samuel Barbers Violin Concerto from 1939.

Our Strength, Our Song
Akemi Mercer-Niewöhner, violin
Rachel Mercer, cello

"Our Strength, Our Song"" celebrates the work of six Canadian women in duos for violin and cello, from composers Violet Archer and Jean Coulthard, to the composers of today; Rebekah Cummings, Alice Ho, Barbara Monk Feldman and Jocelyn Morlock. Spanning 40 years, closely mirroring the age of the performers, sisters Akemi Mercer-Niewoehner and Rachel Mercer, the music includes five premiere recordings and three new commissions. Performing together since they were children, violinist Akemi Mercer-Niewoehner and cellist Rachel Mercer have an instinctive musical connection. With this album, they hope to encourage the performance of these older works and contribute in a meaningful way to the Canadian duo repertoire. BELOW: "Our Strength, Our Song":

Schumann Violin Concerto, Brahms Double
Antje Weithaas, violin
Maximilian Hornung, cello
NDR Radiophilharmonic, Andrew Manze conducting

Violinist Antje Weithaas and cellist Maximilian Hornung perform these works with the NDR Radio Philharmonic under the leadership of its principal conductor Andrew Manze, who has just renewed his contract with this orchestra through 2023. Both works were written for the 19th century violinist Joseph Joachim, who played a central role for Schumann as well as for Brahms.

Kreutzer's Violin Concerto 1, 6 & 7
Laurent Albrecht Breuninger, violin
Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra, Timo Handschuh conducting

Ten years after his first album featuring violin concertos by Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831), violinist Laurent Albrecht Breuninger presents Kreutzer's Concertos Nos. 1, 6, and 7. Even today Kreutzer continues to be ranked with the great violin virtuosos of his time and along with Viotti, Rode, and Baillot is regarded as a central figure of the French violin school. Kreutzer wrote his 19 violin concertos during his active years as a virtuoso. After he had found it necessary to abandon his solo career in 1810, he did not compose a single other such work. Although the concertos adhere to the traditional three-movement design, they contain numerous innovative elements, formal surprises, motivic-thematic interdependencies, and genial ideas.

The Art of Carol Lieberman, Vol. 2 Modern Violin
Carol Lieberman, violin

Violinist Carol Lieberman has had a distinguished career performing music ranging from the Baroque to modern times. This album, The Art of Carol Lieberman, Volume 2, focuses upon here performances of modern works. Carol Lieberman has been one of the leading exponents of Baroque violin performance for three decades and is equally well known for her performances of 19th and 20th century violin repertoire. She has concertized throughout Europe and North and South America, and frequently performs for radio and television, including Radio Nacional Espana, Belgian Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and National Public Radio. Ms. Lieberman performs as violinist of the Lieberman-Kroll Duo, the Early Music Ensemble of Boston, and is first violinist and founder of the Quartetto Tomasini, a period instrument string quartet.

Brahms: Five Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Ulf Wallin, violin
Roland Pöntiten, piano

Ulf Wallin and Roland Pöntinen made their first duo-recording for BIS in 1991 and have released acclaimed recital albums ranging from Schumann and Liszt to Alfred Schnittke, by way of Schoenberg and Hindemith. With the present disc they bring their most recent project to a close: a recording of all the works by Johannes Brahms for violin and piano. These include not only the three numbered violin sonatas, but also the Scherzo from the so-called F.A.E. Sonata and the composer's own violin versions of the two sonatas for clarinet and piano. Wallin and Pöntinen open the present release with Sonata No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120, composed in 1894 for clarinet and transcribed for the violin a year later. As the clarinet part extends further down than the lowest note on the violin, Brahms made considerable revisions to the clarinet part, which entailed changes in the piano part, and consequently the printing of a new piano score. This is followed by the second and third violin sonatas, in A major and D minor respectively. Both works were composed during the summer of 1886 in Thun in Switzerland and are clearly related, even though they inhabit completely different expressive worlds.

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 3, 2020 at 01:15 AM · "Hi I'm 19 years old. I study with Gidon Kremer, and I took first at the Nielsen Competition. I just finished 'doing' the Tchaik and the Barber. What should I work on next?"

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