Sarah Chang debut

April 18, 2005 at 04:37 AM · This is a lazy Sunday morning so I sat down at the computer and put on a CD: Sarah Chang, Debut (EMI Classics). The fact that a 9-year-old could do this with a 1/4 size instrument is mind-blowing. I realize she had made her (almost unprepared) concerto debut a year before (Paganinin #1?) and that we have had qute a few other amazing prodigies in the past. The difference is that here we have a high-quality recording of the performance. I realize that Ms. Chang is now fully-grown and must be compared to all past and present mature artists (for better or worse). Putting that aside, if you have not heard this I think you should. If you have, please take a moment to pass along your thoughts on this recording (not what she has or has not done since).

Replies (16)

April 18, 2005 at 09:20 AM · Hi,

It is a very good recording and a testament to one of the great prodigy stories of our time. What else can be said?


April 18, 2005 at 06:41 PM · I have this recording - it is excellent. I find the maturity of conception of these pieces is amazing for her age, and the tone is amazing (I had no idea _any_ quarter size violins sounded like that). I had listened to it for months before I noticed her age in the recording notes. I about died. (I was somewhat older at the time, and nowhere near the musical and technical level of that stuff. Nor am I now, for that matter. :-) ) I particularly like the Sarasate Carmen Fantasy...I haven't yet heard a version I prefer to this one. That said, I think her emotional range expanded on later albums (as can only be expected). I have her "Sweet Sorrow" album, and I love the Vitali Chaccone and Saint-Saens Rondo Capricioso on it. She is certainly a first-class player.

April 18, 2005 at 07:12 PM · I agress everyone should listen! I listen to that cd over and over and it's so amazing. I'd rather listen to it than any other solo violin cd. The music has an amazing depth of clarity...the recording is loud and crisp and beautiful...i can't belive she has that talent no fair!!!!

April 18, 2005 at 08:20 PM · Does anyone know who made the violin she plays on this recording?

April 18, 2005 at 11:09 PM · I love her live (I saw her play Bruch a couple years ago) and I would like to hear this record, but I did not enjoy Sweet Sorrow, mostly because of the seemingly random selection of pieces. Then again, I rarely buy 'recital' type albums with bits and pieces on them. The Vitali was a highlight though. She has a nice tone.

April 19, 2005 at 01:15 AM · amazing!! i can feel the energy just by listening..

April 19, 2005 at 10:00 PM · she is a very fine player.

April 20, 2005 at 04:49 AM · the late sir yehudi menuhin regarded her as "the most perfect violinist he has ever heard"

May 15, 2005 at 05:41 AM · I have this CD and I love it, I lost the case so where can I get the pieces' names and their order when the CD is played? I play a couple of pieces and some I wish to play as well.

May 15, 2005 at 07:00 PM · Allen,

all the info should be sure to scroll all the way down, it's a long page.

May 15, 2005 at 11:11 PM · As I heard this CD, I thought I needed to destroy my violin.

But I don't like the "adult" Sara. Her interpretation is similar to all the Dorothy DeLay's students. They are excellent violinist with superb technics but all of them don't have "edges to the interpretation" like Heifetz or Oistrakh. They aren't free in the way of interpretation like the old guys.

I think Hilary Hahn was very lucky to be not a student of Mrs.Delay. Mrs.Delay was a great teacher and it's good for a talent to become her student, but it's maybe bad for an escpecial prodigy like Sara.

May 15, 2005 at 11:48 PM · How do you know the interpretive edges of Hiefetz and Oistrach, and the past greats of the 20th century - because they are so assessible to us - haven't so circumscribed the interpretive range for todays performers.

Would Hiefetz or Oistrach seem such paramount performers if a similar discography of performances by Pagannini, or Joachim, etc existed?

Unless the classical violin repitoire expands, is each succeeding generation of violinists expected to somehow exceed the edgy originality of the prior recorded generations on the same population of pieces? That seems an impossible situation to sustain.

May 16, 2005 at 03:10 AM · Felix, who of DeLay's pupils do you consider that Ms Chang interpretations sounds as?

Kolja Blacher's? Honda-Rosenberg's? Kaplan's? Kenmedy's? Midori's, Lin, Mathé, Milenkovich, Mintz, Perlman or Znaider's?

May 16, 2005 at 10:01 AM · I mean the best knowed like Perlman, Midori, Kennedy, Sara Chang.. They have their individual sound, but the interpretation of all seem to be similar for me. Let say about the Tchaikovsky Concerto or Brahms's Sonaten. I couldn't hear Perlman or Sara Chang play them anymore: no edge and no edge (but Hahn is differently). Oistrakh or Heifetz played the Tchaikovski with edges (immediately at begining), Schneiderhan and Seeberg played Brahms's Sonaten with edges. You can find what I mean immediately after you hear them 30 seconds.

June 23, 2005 at 01:23 PM · i have this recording too...its amaaaazing !!! she's really great. there's just one little problem: she didnt grew up as she "grew up". i mean that for me, she didnt change she didnt developp,wich i think is a pitty.she's verry good no doubt,but... when she was small,she had this little something :)... didnt she?

June 23, 2005 at 06:08 PM · That's the case with alot of child prodigies. They're amazing when they're kids but they probably burn out too quickly later (I'm not saying this happened to Sarah Chang, just in general).

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal
Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

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

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



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