Most listeners will never have heard the name Ivan Khandoshkin (1747-1804), but violinist Anastasia Khitruk has admirably undertaken to bring this little-known solo-violin repertoire to wider attention. Published in the early years of the 19th century, Khandoshkin’s Op. 3 sonatas show the influences we might expect, given the composer’s exposure to a court musical environment that included musicians from Italy, Germany, and France.
This is an exceptional disc. Exceptional both for the music Johannes Brahms’ three violin sonatas contain some of his most lovely writing and the performance French violinist Augustin Dumay and Portuguese pianist Maria Pires project a strong interpretive vision. The interpretation is more lyrical and thoughtful than typical, with somewhat slow tempi generally. This is married to exquisite – and I mean, exquisite – technique from both Pires and Dumay as well as an outstanding sound engineering job from DG. The excellence of this CD is comprehensive.
Mari Kimura (木村 まり Kimura Mari) is a Japanese violinist and composer best known for her use of subharmonics, which, achieved through special bowing techniques, allow pitches below the instrument's normal range. She is credited with "introducing" the use of violin subharmonics, which allow a violinist to play a full octave below the low G on the violin without adjusting the tuning of the instrument. Polytopia is her first CD for the Bridge label, and her first created without collaborators.
"Scotland's sweetheart" and onetime BBC Young Musician of the Year Nicola Benedetti follows up her 2011 release Italia with this collection of music from the silver screen and beyond. Centered around Erich Korngold's lush Violin Concerto, the album features film music both old and new, such as John Williams' Schindler's List, Howard Shore's Eastern Promises, and Dario Marianelli's Jane Eyre. It also includes other classical works by Korngold, Mahler, and Shostakovich.