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Violin Romances / Gil Shaham, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra


Release Date: 08/13/1996 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 449923   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward ElgarFritz KreislerJohan SvendsenSergei Rachmaninov,   ... 
Performer:  Gil Shaham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gil Shaham emerges as the first among equals, as the Orpheus match him every step of the way with playing that is as suave, sweet and technically refined as his own.

Heard in this context, Gil Shaham emerges as the first among equals. Anyone experienced in the field of violin miniatures on record will know that, more often than not, it's a case of glamorous solo playing versus humdrum orchestral accompaniments (Michael Rabin's Capitol recordings being among the rare exceptions to a well-tested rule). Here, however, the Orpheus match Shaham every step of the way with playing that is as suave, sweet and technically refined as his own.

The Beethoven Romances are superbly realized and Shaham steals the lead
Read more on most of his rivals by making them actually sound different from each other, the First being fairly forthright, the Second more a song without words. However, in the case of Dvorák's Romance, I sensed a rather impatient interpretation (fairly up-tempo and with some forceful entries), one that betrays a certain lack of sympathy for the idiom — although, again, the Orpheus step in with some beautifully phrased counter-material. Shaham's tone wears a beguiling smile, rather in the manner of Campoli (and quite unlike the weeping eloquence of, say, Elman or Heifetz). His technique is absolutely secure, his phrasing is crisp and his most effective expressive device is to reduce the body of his tone, a ploy that works very well 437" into Beethoven's Second Romance and in the latter half of Fritz Kreisler's Liebesleid (which, incidentally, is played with the brief but touching introduction that Kreisler himself recorded towards the end of his career in 1942, now available on Biddulph).

I've heard more searching accounts of the Sêrenode mélancolique, and if the remaining works on the programme have responded more readily to the inimitable styles of various older masters, Shaham's performances remain extremely listener-friendly — and they're beautifully recorded. Put them on first thing in the morning, and the effect would be the musical equivalent of 'have a nice day'.

-- Robert Cowan, Gramophone [3/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Salut d'amour, Op. 12 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1889; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Clark McAlister 
3.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in G major, Op. 26 by Johan Svendsen
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Norway 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 
4.
Transcription of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud" for piano by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1921; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Clark McAlister 
5.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 1 in G major, Op. 40 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
6.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 2 in F major, Op. 50 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
7.
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Clark McAlister 
8.
Spanish Dances (2) for Violin and Piano, Op. 22: no 1, Romanza andaluza by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Otto Hohn 
9.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor, Op. 11/B 39 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1877; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 11 Minutes 56 Secs. 
10.
Sérénade mélancolique for Violin and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 26 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Salut d'amour, Op.12
Schön Rosmarin
Violin Romance in G, Op.26
Liebesfreud
Violin Romance No.1 in G major, Op.40
Violin Romance No.2 in F major, Op.50
Liebesleid
Sérénade mélancolique in B flat minor, Op.26
Romanza andaluza Op.22, No.1
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor, Op.11

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