For the Record, Op. 241: Christian Li; Julia Fischer & Kirill Troussov; violist Máté Szucs; Shea-Kim Duo

June 16, 2023, 1:38 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!

Christian Li
Violinist Christian Li. Photo by Albert Comper.

Discovering Mendelssohn
Christian Li, violin
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis conducting

Australian-Chinese violinist Christian Li, 15, found inspiration for his newest album in the travels of composer Felix Mendelssohn. The album includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, "On Wings of Song," Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14, "Venetian Gondola Song" and "Spring Song" - - pieces the composer wrote in Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Munich, Venice and London. It also includes music from the composer's inspirations and contemporaries: Bach, Mozart and Schubert. Li was the youngest-ever to sign with Decca, after being the youngest-ever Junior 1st Prize-winner of the Menuhin Violin Competition in 2018 at the age of 10. Li has also released Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (2021). BELOW: Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 - I. Allegro molto appassionato (Excerpt):

Shostakovich-Prokofiev Violin Duos
Julia Fischer, violin
Kirill Troussov, violin
Henri Bonamy, piano

It's the first album these two German violinists have made as a duo, though they have performed onstage together many times. The album includes Shostakovich's Five Pieces for Two Violins & Piano and the Prokofiev Sonata for Two Violins. Of playing as a duo, Fischer said that "the most challenging part is to blend in when necessary, matching exactly the sound of your partner. Sometimes it's a fight, sometimes the two violins should merge. Finding the right balance between those is the most challenging part." BELOW: Julia Fischer & Kirill Troussov play Shostakovich.

Past Forward: Stylianou: Sonatas for Viola and Piano
Máté Szucs, viola
Nicolas Costantinou, piano

Past Forward is an album of world-premiere recordings showcasing Greek Cypriot composer Constantinos Y. Stylianou (b. 1972). Stylianou’s two Sonatas for viola and piano are performed by Hungarian born violist Máté Szucs and Steinway artist Nicolas Costantinou. The second sonata was composed partly as a response to the COVID pandemic. BELOW: Sonata for Viola and Piano No. 1, in F Minor: IV.

All Roads
Shea-Kim Duo
Brendan Shea, violin
Yerin Kim, piano

Violinist Brendan Shea and pianist Yerin Kim - a married pair - have been performing together as the Shea-Kim Duo for more than a decade. They have toured across North America, Europe and South Korea, and have won gold medals at the Manhattan International and the Ackerman Chamber Music Competitions. In their new album they explore the evolving musical styles and sounds that passed through Vienna. "We wanted to present composers who were connected to Vienna in increasingly distant ways, like travelers along a long road," read the liner notes. “One cannot help but imagine generations of people from all different backgrounds living along a road that spans the world, but inevitably leads back to Vienna." The album includes Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 3; Robert Schumann’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in A minor; Alfred Schnittke’s Suite in the Old Style; and Amy Beach’s Romance. BELOW: Amy Beach’s Romance

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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