For the Record, Op. 214: Vilde Frang; ARC Ensemble; Violist Rose Wollman

October 15, 2022, 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!

Vilde Frang
Violinist Vilde Frang.

Beethoven, Stravinsky – Violin Concertos
Vilde Frang, violin
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Pekka Kuusisto conducting

This album juxtaposes Beethoven’s epic, lyrical violin concerto with Stravinsky’s compact violin concerto, which pays spiky tribute to 18th century models. The conductor is Pekka Kuusisto, himself an adventurous violinist, in his role as Artistic Best Friend of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. "It was the chamber musical qualities of the Beethoven concerto that provided the key for me," violinist Vilde Frang said. "The violin is constantly ‘feeding’ and playing around the orchestra … In its own way, the Stravinsky too engages the soloist in a constant dialogue with the orchestra. With Pekka Kuusisto and the Bremen players, I really feel in such a comfort zone...There is a feeling of having everything to gain by gathering together, coming together." BELOW: Vilde Frang plays Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61: III. Rondo. Allegro:

Chamber Works by Alberto Hemsi
The ARC Ensemble
Marie Bérard, violin
Erika Raum, violin
Emily Kruspe (Pilpul Sonata), violin
Steven Dann, viola
Julien Altmann, viola
Tom Wiebe, cello
Kevin Ahfat, piano

It is indeed ironic that Alberto Hemsi, who spent much of his life rescuing music that faced extinction, should have his own brilliantly original works threatened with a similar fate. Born in 1898 in Anatolia, now part of Turkey, "Hemsi worked outside the European mainstream, using fairly simple Sephardic melodies as the building blocks for extended and sometimes quite complex concert works," said ARC Ensemble Artistic Director Simon Wynberg. This album highlights five works by this unheralded composer and ethnomusicologist. BELOW: A behind-the-scenes look at the recording process for ARC Ensemble's album, Chamber Works by Alberto Hemsi:

Loop: Ligeti’s Inspiration and Legacy
Rose Wollman, viola

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer György Ligeti in 2023, violist Rose Wollman's program weaves the past and present together to cast Ligeti’s monumental Sonata for Viola Solo (1991–1994) in a new light. Conceived as a set of 6 triptychs, the innovative program contextualizes Ligeti’s Sonata as both inspired by the past and inspirational to composers of today. Each of the six movements is paired first with a baroque work, and then a newly commissioned work that draws inspiration from its baroque-Ligeti pairing. "Ligeti enjoyed writing for the viola, and described its tone as, ‘unique…with the aftertaste of wood, earth, and tannic acid,'" Wollman said. "It has been an honor developing and recording this program, and bringing so many composer friends together to celebrate Ligeti’s centenary." BELOW: Rose Wollman describes her project.

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our "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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October 17, 2022 at 12:01 PM · Vilde Frang is an incredibly natural violinist.

October 17, 2022 at 01:42 PM · Vilde Frang’s Beethoven violin concerto, from the sample of the the 3rd movement, is very promising, and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is an attractive orchestra with a fresh and exciting sound. I loved the oboe florituras! It was also encouraging to read and hear about Rose Wolmann’s disc contextualizing Ligeti. I was beginning to think I was in a minority of one with regard to this important and challenging composer!

October 18, 2022 at 12:20 AM · It's nice that people digeti Ligeti

October 19, 2022 at 04:44 AM · Hyperion just released a new album of Telemann's Fantasias with Alina Ibragimova. Certainly worth checking out!

Isabelle Faust's recent recording of Gyorgy Kurtag's Kafka-fragmente with Anna Prohaska is also noteworthy.

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