Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beethoven & Berg: Violin Concertos

“listening to these wonderful performances side by side is cathartic...The journey is vividly delineated from the outset of the Berg. With Abbado drawing sonorities from his first-rate orchestra, Faust's limpid violin weaves subtly in and out of the music's dark and increasingly sorrowful fabric...The clouds immediately lift for the Beethoven...Faust's first entry is magical.” --BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 *****

BBC Music Magazine
Disc of the month - April 2012

Gramophone Awards 2012
Finalist - Concerto

Gramophone Magazine
Disc of the Month - March 2012

“Each note appears to shine with an inner glow...Under [Faust's] fingers, her Stradivarius produces an astonishingly varied range of sound to meet the demands of Berg’s concerto...The luminous sound of Abbado’s orchestra, a continuing glory, infuses the [Beethoven] concerto with a real sense of joy; I don’t know of any other interpretation that wears such a smile so lightly. Faust is a wonder on this disc, but Abbado is even more so.” The Times, 3rd February 2012 ****

“Abbado’s hand-picked ensemble...produces a sound that is thoroughly apt to the particular world of each piece. Faust’s timbre and spectrum of emotion are similarly judged and communicated with arresting maturity and sensibility. Likewise, she echoes the freshness and depth that Abbado stimulates in the orchestral playing of the Beethoven concerto, finding a mode of expression that is both lyrical and dynamic and contributing to a performance of real stature.” The Telegraph, 3rd February 2012 *****

“seamlessly reconciles intensity with gentle expressivity” Financial Times, 4th February 2012

“The Beethoven and Berg Violin Concertos aren't commonly paired on disc. However, in this case it seems like an inspired piece of programme planning, with an account of the Berg that plumbs its depths of melancholy, setting off a radiant, life-affirming performance of the Beethoven...Outstanding performances of both concertos, then; I'll want to return to them often.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012

“Faust has already demonstrated her empathy with music from Bach to Jolivet, but her collaboration with Abbado is inspired. Indeed, both find more beauty in this challenging score than most interpreters on disc: Abbado gets sumptuous Middle European textures from his Bologna-based orchestra, also wonderfully transparent and airy in the Beethoven concerto, treated like expanded chamber music....A glorious disc.” Sunday Times, 26th February 2012

“The [Berg’s] expressive range, which includes vehemence as well as delicacy, is fully probed here.” Irish Times, 24th February 2012 ****

“The unorthodox pairing...casts a curious spell in this thoughtful performance...Faust's chaste, pale sound is offset against stained-glass woodwind and serene brass in the Berg, while bassoonist Guilhaume Santana is a glamorous dancing partner in the Beethoven.” The Independent, 4th March 2012

“Faust’s performance is special. There’s something warm and consolatory in her playing. She doesn’t overdo the sentimentality, and there’s as much rapture as regret. None of which would be possible without Abbado’s perfectly judged orchestral support; the violent outbursts in the second movement are rightly brutal and the work’s closing minutes are exquisite…Buy this disc for the Berg – possibly the work’s finest recording yet.” The Arts Desk, 21st April 2012

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