For the Record, Op. 243: Joshua Bell; James Ehnes; Aizuri Quartet

June 30, 2023, 1:00 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!

Joshua Bell Butterfly Lovers
Violinist Joshua Bell.

Butterfly Lovers
Joshua Bell, violin
Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Tsung Yeh conducting

Here is an original and beautiful version of the Butterfly Lover's Concerto - Joshua Bell plays is it in an adaptation that features an ensemble of traditional Chinese instruments. "I'm thrilled to have worked with the incredible Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Maestro Tsung Yeh on this recording," Bell said. "It was a joy to collaborate with the SCO musicians, who brought this work to life through the expressive sounds of the traditional Chinese instruments." The concerto was originally written in 1959 by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, inspired by a romantic Chinese legend, and scored for a full Western symphonic orchestra. This version with traditional instruments was arranged by Yang Hui Chang and Ku Lap-Man. The recording also includes Sarasate’s "Ziguenerweisen," Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; and Massenet’s "Méditation" from Thaïs. "As an American, I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity," said Bell, "and I find it fitting that we have recorded this in Singapore, a historically important setting that bridges East and West." BELOW: Bell talks about the project, with musical excerpts.

James Ehnes, violin
Andrew Armstrong, piano

Composed in 1915, Karol Szymanowski’s "Mythes" is a three-movement work consisting of miniature tone poems based on Greek mythology. Late romantic and impressionist in style, the composer’s travels to Sicily and North Africa without doubt influenced the exotic and sumptuous sound world he created in this work. "Mythes" is the opening work on this eclectic recital album from James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong. Also on this program is Handel’s D major violin sonata – a staple of the violin repertoire. The album concludes with a selection of short miniatures and encores. Below: I. La fontaine d'Arethuse from Szymanowski’s "Mythes":

Earthdrawn Skies
Aizuri Quartet

In its liner notes, the Aizuri Quartet describes its latest album: "'Earthdrawn Skies' explores deep connections between humankind and the natural world through the distinct lenses of four composers forging personal relationships with the soil and the stars." The album includes "Columba aspexit" by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179); String Quartet No. 1 by Eleanor Alberga (b. 1949); Armenian Folk Songs by Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935); and String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 56 "Voces Intimae" by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). BELOW: Hildegard von Bingen: "Columba aspexit," arranged by Alex Fortes:

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.

You might also like:

* * *

Enjoying Click here to sign up for our free, bi-weekly email newsletter. And if you've already signed up, please invite your friends! Thank you.


This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine