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Beethoven: Violin Concertos; Tsintsadze: Miniatures / Lisa Batiashvili, Et Al


Release Date: 03/03/2009 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 733400   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenSulkhan Tsintsadze
Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili
Conductor:  Lisa Batiashvili
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Chamber OrchestraGerman Chamber PhilharmonicDeutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



TSINTSADZE (arr. T. Batiashvili) Miniatures. 1 BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto 2 Lisa Batiashvili (vn, cond); Georgian CO; 1 German CP Bremen 2 SONY 733400 (56:35)


Lisa Batiashvili has supplemented Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with six of 15 Read more miniatures by the Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze, miniatures that Batiashvili’s father, Tamas, arranged for violin and strings. Strongly rhythmic, with brash percussive effects, the first of these, “Mzkemsuri,” brings tart timbres that evoke the exotic world of Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances . The second, “Suliko,” with its indolently rocking rhythms and harmonies, might pass as a Mexican interlude. “Lale” begins energetically, with the strings tossing motives back and forth; but it surrounds a soft central section. “Indi-Mindi” follows in the same general pattern. “Tzin Tzarko” opens with a plaintive statement by the solo violin, and turns even darker and more brooding when the strings enter. Here, the violin plays an ethereal figuration that recalls James Newton Howard’s atmospheric score (with Hilary Hahn as solo violinist) for the movie, The Village . For the most part, though, the solo violin doesn’t play a virtuosic role in the miniatures; the rhythms generally swirl in the orchestra and the violin supplies elfin commentary to both these passages and the more lyrical episodes. “Satchidao” brings the set to a conclusion in a Gypsy-like dance.


In view of the imposing symphonic stature of Beethoven’s Concerto and her relative youth, it may seem surprising that Batiashvili chose to conduct the orchestra as well as to play the solo. But the opening tutti, strongly percussive and marked by hair-raising dynamic contrasts, suggests that she wanted to make her own statement. Compared with the orchestral part, her solo on the 1709 Engleman Stradivari sounds commanding to be sure, but rich, lithe, and silvery as well, with each register strongly characterized—but nary a hint of roughness. Her detailed exposition of the accompaniment, enhanced by recorded sound of exceptional transparency, reveals detailed interactions between the winds and strings and a wealth of motivic interplay that might otherwise go without highlighting. The overall result, though imposing, never sounds simply massive, because in the most heavily orchestrated passages, definition remains high; yet the trees never obscure the forest. (This kind of playing and musical direction sounds strongly reminiscent of the bracing transformation period instrumentalists have worked on concertos by Vivaldi.) If, in the first movement of the Concerto, the soloist risks slipping into the role of commentator on matters too weighty to be entrusted to a single violin, Batiashvili throughout asserts her dominating instrumental and musical vision, never allowing the violin to be miniaturized—or even subordinated. And individual touches abound: for example, she pauses here and there to set up a passage, enhancing the dramatic impact by the most economical of means. And she reveals her purely violinistic command in Kreisler’s cadenzas.


The slow movement elicits from Batiashvili violinist and Batiashvili conductor a similar strong-mindedness. It never grows sleepy, though her playing of the middle section offers hushed, breathless reflection of great profundity and sensitivity. And she reveals the importance of each and every note in each and every passage, no matter how mechanical it might look on the printed page. Her playing and direction in the finale suggest raw energy (reminiscent of that in the opening movement) rather than bucolic revelry. In her strong-mindedness, Batiashvili comes perhaps closer to the dynamism and drive of Isabella Faust, among rising stars who have recently recorded the work by rising stars (with Ji?í B?lohlávek and the Prague Philharmonia on Harmonia Mundi 901944, 32:4) than to the more relaxed elegance of Vadim Repin with Riccardo Muti, Vienna Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon 000966302, 31:4.


Those who lament the large-scale playing of violinists of the Golden Age may find in Batiashvili’s a fresh edition of many of the characteristics (yet, perhaps notably, without the immediate identifiability) that seem to have lamentably disappeared into the recorded past—and now engineers can capture them in recorded sound fully worthy of the performance. Urgently recommended to those listeners and, in fact, to all others, as well.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili (Violin)
Conductor:  Lisa Batiashvili
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Chamber Orchestra,  German Chamber Philharmonic,  Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Miniatures (6) for Violin and Orchestra by Sulkhan Tsintsadze
Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili (Violin)
Conductor:  Lisa Batiashvili
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Notes: Arranged by Tamas Batiashvili 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Outstanding August 31, 2013 By Eugene P. (San Francisco, CA) See All My Reviews "Beautiful violin playing. Now my favorite version, along with Shneiderhan, of the Beethoven, and I've heard Menuhin, Heifetz, Milstein, Perlman, Grumiaux, Szeryng, Swensen, Mutter, Jansen. Looking forward to her future recordings." Report Abuse
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