While not a lot of its classical pursuits in the 2000s have panned out, Sony Classical has had good luck with violinists, thanks due to the popularity of contract player Hilary Hahn and an apparent assumption of the recording duties of the great Canadian violinist Lara St. John. This is Latvian violinist Baiba Skride's third disc, the first two being released simultaneously in 2004 and, of these, the violin solo disc – containing works by Ysayë, Bartók, and Bach – winning a German Echo Classic award.
The Quatuor Diotima offers a passionate performance of both quartets that would merit consideration in any case, but sample the viola d'amore's opening utterance at the beginning of track 9, and you may decide, even if you are already a confirmed admirer of Janácek's tense but richly romantic music, that a rehearing of these works is in order.James Manheim (allmusic.com)
Baiba Skride (1981-) is a Latvian classical violinist. She was the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Violin Contest in 2001, and has performed around the world. Her new album offers a very own, but absolutely sensible mix and uses her concert-experience to its advantage – recorded live at Munich, this captures Skride in a pensive and yet explosive mood. The dark waters of the first movement of Shostakovich’ Vilolin Concerto are juxtaposed with a fulminant follow-up, while the saddened sighs of the “Passacaglia” dissolve into a cold, yet ethereal solo. Monumental and massive, this is like a musical totem. Janacek’s “The Wandering of a Little Soul” is equally intense, offering naive folk-melodies in one instant, nerve-wracking, almost minimal-music-like movements and fiery erruptions in the other.
Best of Classics - the perfect present for you and your nearest and dearest, who like beautiful music in top quality.The Best of Mozart title, the first of the exquisite series of CDs featuring classical music, has met with a tremendous response on the part of listeners who always want to have the most wonderful musical gems within easy reach.
"…The Hagens play with almost impossibly precise technique, virtually spotless intonation, and a fluid sense of balance that allows every line and every note of Janácek's scores to easily be heard. What's more, they brilliantly convey the emotional, autobiographical nature of the two works in such a way that even someone unfamiliar with their origins can sense the tension, drama, and angst. The disc concludes with an equally enjoyable performance of Hugo Wolf's Italian Serenade." 5/5 ~allmusicguide
Leos Janácek (1854-1928) is regarded as the greatest Czech composer of the early twentieth century. In his early works, which included the opera Sárka (1888), and numerous vocal and instrumental works, Janácek followed a traditional, Romantic idiom, typical of late nineteenth century music. Having completed Sárka, however, Janácek immersed himself in the folk music of his native Moravia, gradually developing an original compositional style. Eschewing regular metrical phrasing, Janácek developed a declamatory method of setting the voice that follows the natural rhythmic patterns of the Czech language. Characteristically, Janácek allowed these patterns to inform the music itself. In addition, Janácek's harmonies, forms and orchestration ………From Allmusic