Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Pablo SARASATE (1844-1908)
Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen, Op 25 [13:49]
Concert Fantasy on Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Op 5 [12:04]
Canciones rusas, Op 49 [8:47]
El canto del ruiseñor, Op 29 [8:43]
La chasse, Op 44 [8:55]
Jota de Pablo, Op 52 [6:04]
Tianwa Yang (violin)
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra/Ernest Martínez Izquierdo
rec. 2 July 2009 (Gounod fantasy), 1-2 November 2009 (Carmen fantasy), 3-6 November 2008 (all others), Concert Hall of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
NAXOS 8.572216 [58:19]

Experience Classicsonline

Tianwa Yang is an uncommonly brilliant young violinist. With a little luck, she will be producing dazzling recordings for us for decades to come. She slipped onto the scene in 2006, edging away from the spotlight occupied by such prominent young ladies as Hilary Hahn, Julia Fischer, Janine Jensen, and Sarah Chang. Tianwa Yang’s deficit of fame is partly because she is in fact younger than all of those stars - having been born in 1987 - and partly because she joined the Naxos record label for a series of the complete works of Pablo de Sarasate rather than recording the usual Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Brahms for a more glamorous label.

Those who have been listening have been impressed. When Yang’s first Sarasate volume arrived in 2006, it was remarkable it introduced us to a teenage prodigy who had not only the outlandish technical wizardry which teenage prodigies often have, but also a hugely romantic sensibility. To create the formula for Tianwa Yang, one takes the average youthful virtuoso and adds a generous dash of passion. Right from the first phrase of the “Malagueña” (Op 21 No 1), so sultry and so soulful, I knew I was hearing something special.

That “something special” has now brought us her fourth Sarasate disc: there have been two recitals with pianist Markus Hadulla (vol. 1), and now two orchestral discs with the ensemble Sarasate himself founded in Pamplona. This new volume, recorded when Yang was 21 and 22, opens with the legendary Carmen Fantasy, a ravishing cocktail of Georges Bizet’s glorious tunes, Sarasate’s showy virtuosity, and the romantic passion of a trio of Spanish lovers. The Carmen Fantasy is overtly designed to be an unceasing string of “wow!” moments, but even jaded listeners will find a few. Consider the discreet portamenti in the opening tune, for instance (and harmonic portamenti at 2:28), the seductive way Yang phrases the theme at the end of this movement (2:38), the relaxed pizzicato plucks at the beginning of the seguidilla, or the almost inhuman playing at the very end.

The Gounod Romeo and Juliet fantasy really engaged me in parts, but left me waiting for the next “section” to commence at other times, mostly Sarasate’s own fault. La chasse, on the other hand, is a thrill ride, with uncommonly assertive orchestral accompaniment but an electric part for Tianwa Yang to play. After the tender, even vulnerable playing she delivers in the introduction, she introduces the big tune to us at 2:09 with a forceful joy that is utterly irresistible. And, near the end of the piece, the cellos are entrusted with an unusually (for Sarasate) sensitive melody, which the soloist discreetly accompanies. Jota de Pablo is a terrific finale, Sarasate at his beguiling Spanish best, and has the daring required to end quietly.

Not all of this music is fascinating: the Chansons ruses, for instance, are only intermittently engaging, and only somewhat Russian, and El Canto del Ruiseñor takes about three minutes to get over some dull opening material and introduce its alluringly Spanish main theme.

All throughout, Yang seduces, teases, serenades, and sings with her unique sound. How to describe the Yang sound? It’s more aggressive than most in attacking the violin’s lowest notes, which have a full but slightly rough sound that can only be described (in Sarasate, at least) as sexy. It has an almost unreal facility for harmonics, pizzicati, and double stops so well blended together that they don’t sound like double stops at all. It has a genius for occasional notes which are just murmured, to catch our ears and pull them in closer. It’s got big legato phrases that seem to explode across the concert hall in their brilliance. It demands to be heard.

The Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra has seen over a century of action since it was founded by Pablo de Sarasate, so the historical connection is a bit of a trivia game. It’s a good orchestra, but by no means great; luckily, though, this music is all about the soloist. Ernest Martínez Izquierdo is a sensitive accompanist who makes sure Tianwa Yang is given an engaging partner. The sound balance favors the soloist but at no loss to either orchestra or audience, except at the end of the Carmen fantasy, when Yang’s violin is nearly louder than the entire Navarre band. The excellent notes are by Joseph Gold, a virtuoso violinist and Sarasate expert himself.

Like all the volumes in the series, this one combines Sarasate’s justifiably famous, unjustifiably forgotten, and merely pedestrian works. But the latter have rarely had a more passionate, more brilliant advocate than Tianwa Yang, and even items like the Carmen Fantasy do not get treated with this much bravado and romantic sweep by just anybody. It occurred to me while listening to this CD that what we have here is a 23-year-old virtuoso whose closest neighbors, in terms of style, are “golden age” violinists from the days of lush vibrato, unabashed romantic ardor, and crackly monaural sound. No surprise, then, that in a recent interview Tianwa Yang said that the biggest influences on her style are “Michael Rabin … Joseph Szigeti and Adolf Busch,” especially Busch, whose “playing had a really formative influence on me”. Here, born eighty years too late, is a violinist ready to revive a long-gone sensibility. Sarasate is fortunate to have her, and so are we.

Brian Reinhart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.