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Melodies / Yi Chen, Lars Hannibal

Massenet / Kreisler / Yi / Hannibal
Release Date: 02/23/2010 
Label:  Our Recordings   Catalog #: 6220602   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jules MassenetFritz KreislerGeorge Frideric HandelFranz Schubert,   ... 
Performer:  Chen YiLars Hannibal
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

One for gentle, lyrical listening.

This is the music ‘for a daydream, or the twilight accompaniment for a romantic dinner.’ Bear that in mind the next time you’re subjected to an evening of Muzak or a trawl of Eric Clapton’s Greatest Hits. Instead Lars Hannibal has arranged all these pieces – bar the Paganini – for violin and guitar, and has recorded them with Yi Chen. They’ve performed together before, though you may well recall Hannibal’s longstanding partnership with violinist Kim Sjøgren as well, of course, with Michala Petri, his wife.

One casts a jaundiced eye over the programme, but given that the medium is the message, and that violin-guitar recitals – whilst hardly rare – are inevitably
Read more engaging, then it’s better to enjoy what we have. Strong points include Hannibal’s harp-evoking sonorities in his accompaniment to the Thaïs Meditation which are delectable. Yi Chen engages in some little expressive intensifications of the line without imperilling it through too dragged out a tempo. Kreisler features in two selections. Liebesleid is quite slow though the B section is strummed more energetically. Schön Rosmarin however is rather metrical and could do with a great deal more caprice. The playing in Ombra mai fu is direct and discreet, and slow. There were times when I yearned for a touch of Albert Sandler and his luscious portamenti, but that’s a personal matter.

Yi Chen reserves her greatest weight of tone for the Schubert though even here, possibly because of the all-string combination, the ethos is emollient, even bordering on the laid-back. One notices however that in evergreens of yore, but ones that are not so often espoused, such as the Paradies Sicilienne, her playing is more buoyant and unfettered, and she responds with more allure than to the trusted standards. The Lalo derives from his Symphonie espagnole, and Hannibal has already transcribed and recorded the whole thing with Sjøgren. The Handel Larghetto comes from the Op.1 set of sonatas. Rather more interesting is the Grieg folksong diptych; fine dynamic variance on repeated phrases in the Cow-Call. The Satie trio make for pleasant listening and the Paganini original invariably brings out the best in performers due to its soaring buoyancy.

The recording has an intriguing engineering twist. It was recorded in Karlebo Church and then the acoustic of Chicago’s Symphony Hall was added and further tinkering ensued. Clearly spaciousness but no loss of detail was on the agenda. When Sjøgren and Hannibal recorded the Lalo mentioned above for the same label the players’s sound filled the acoustic quite dramatically.

One for gentle, lyrical listening.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
2. Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3. Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; London, England 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 5 Minutes 30 Secs. 
4. Ellens Gesang III, D 839/Op. 52 no 6 "Ave Maria" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
5. Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21: 4th movement, Andante by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; France 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 6 Minutes 34 Secs. 
6. Carmen: Act 1 Prelude "Les toréadors" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7. Sonata for Flute and Basso continuo in B minor, HWV 367b/Op. 1 no 9: 1st movement, Largo by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1726-1732; London, England 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
8. Norwegian Folksongs (19) for Piano, Op. 66: no 1, Kulokk by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Norway 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
9. Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 
10. Norwegian Folksongs (19) for Piano, Op. 66: no 15, Bådnlåt by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Norway 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
11. Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
12. Gymnopédies (3) for Piano: no 1, Lent et douloureux by Erik Satie
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
13. Gymnopédies (3) for Piano: no 2, Lent et triste by Erik Satie
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
14. Gymnopédies (3) for Piano: no 3, Lent et grave by Erik Satie
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
15. Sicilienne in E flat major by Maria Theresia Paradis
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Classical 
Written: Austria 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
16. Ave verum corpus in D major, K 618 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Chen Yi (Violin), Lars Hannibal (Guitar)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Austria 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
17. Cantabile for Violin and Guitar in D major, Op. 17/MS 109 by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Lars Hannibal (Guitar), Chen Yi (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Karlebo Church, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 

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