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Britten & Hindemith: Violin Concertos / Steinbacher, Jurowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin


Release Date: 10/20/2017 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186625  
Composer:  Benjamin BrittenPaul Hindemith
Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Breathtaking virtuosity flows seamlessly with expansive lyrical passages and fiendish passagework in this commanding performance by Arabella Steinbacher of the restless and technically demanding violin concertos of Britten and Hindemith in this new release from PENTATONE, with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Britten’s haunting and mesmerising violin concerto is considered one of the century’s finest. The three contrasting movements are replete with grand theatrical gestures, unabashed lyricism, and show-stopping pyrotechnics, and the work closes with an austere passacaglia of other-wordly beauty and power. Following the work’s enthusiastic reception at its premiere in 1940 at Carnegie Hall, Britten Read more declared “So far, it is without question my best piece”. “Britten and Hindemith completed their concertos at about the same time,” writes Steinbacher, “both are absolutely bursting with emotional turmoil, persisting precariousness, and latent despair.” Steinbacher feels a particular affinity with the Hindemith concerto. “Every artist introduces his own life experiences and personal feelings into his interpretations ... with the Hindemith concerto, I have an extremely close, even private connection, as my father knew Hindemith rather well.”

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REVIEWS:

Steinbacher’s lithe playing, alive to both concertos’ volatilities, is matched by orchestral playing of depth and heart.

– BBC Music Magazine

Steinbacher takes the technical difficulties of both works — Heifetz called the Britten unplayable — in her stride and finds a singing lyricism in both works. She has idiomatic partners in Jurowski and his new Berlin band, who make as much of Britten’s and Hindemith’s orchestral writing as Steinbacher does of her solo.

– The Sunday Times (UK) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher (Violin)
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939/1958; England 
2.
Concerto for Violin by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher (Violin)
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Switzerland 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Dynamic music in exile October 31, 2017 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "It's looking like Paul Hindemith's reputation might have turned a corner; there have been some really first-class releases of his music in the last few years. I've recently reviewed the Amar Quartet's excellent Complete String Quartets on Naxos and another fine album of chamber music with clarinet from Brilliant Classics. Slightly older, but quite spectacular, was an outstanding all-Hindemith disc from Midori and Christoph Eschenbach. Now we have a fine new recording of the Hindemith Violin Concerto from Arabella Steinbacher and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski. It's coupled with an equally beautifully-played Britten Concerto. These two works were both written in 1939, when each of these composers was in exile from his native land; Britten in America and Hindemith in Switzerland, and later America as well. "Only the misfortune of exile," says Stefan Zweig, "can provide the in-depth understanding and the overview into the realities of the world." There's some nostalgic sadness in each work, as there was in Zweig's own work about exile, The World of Yesterday, written in Brazil in the early 1940s. But, typically of both composers, this music is very much forward-looking, dynamic and really rather optimistic. Steinbacher plays with verve and great virtuosity, while Jurowski and his musicians provide the requisite big sound for these two 19th century-style concertos, the dramatic and lively Britten, and the lyrical, stirring Hindemith. Very highly recommended." Report Abuse
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