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Sarah Chang - Debut


Release Date: 08/18/1992 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 54352   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Niccolò PaganiniPeter Ilyich TchaikovskySir Edward ElgarPablo de Sarasate,   ... 
Performer:  Sarah ChangSandra Rivers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sarah Chang's remarkable debut at the age of 11. Menuhin observed that she "is the most ideal violinist I have ever heard" -- with the confident elan of a seasoned virtuoso, her playing leaves the listener dumbfounded.

At just 11 years of age, Sarah Chang is, quite simply, an undisputed violinistic phenomenon. She appeared with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic at the age of eight, playing Paganini's First Violin Concerto, and recorded this debut recital disc a year later. Subsequent engagements with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Montreal drew unreserved critical approbation, although one assumes that Chang's concert schedule will be limited as she continues her studies at the
Read more Juilliard School under Dorothy DeLay. Sarah Chang uses a quarter-size violin here, which cannot be expected to match the amplitude or tonal resources of a larger instrument, but discreet engineering and sensitive accompanying from the excellent Sandra Rivers ensures that she is never unduly pressured. Her tone is pliant and imaginatively modulated, whilst every purely mechanical aspect of her technique seems to be already fully formed. None of the formidable demands of the Sarasate Carmen Fantasy (heard in Zino Francescatti's edition) challenge her in any degree; and even if her performance fails to generate the last frisson of excitement, Chang's playing is utterly reliable. The two Elgar miniatures have a captivating innocence of their own, but her liberal use of portamento in Salui d'amour though affecting, is slightly mannered, as is her rather four-square, obviously contrived rubato in La Capricieuse. Her sizzling accounts of Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" from Gayaneh, and the bristling Prokofiev march, from The Love for Three Oranges require little comment—both are electrifying! Sarah Chang's Paganini leaves the listener dumbfounded. She plays the first and fifteenth Caprices with the confident elan of a seasoned virtuoso, whilst her apparently innate grasp of their hidden symmetries raises the music far above the level of the merely didactic. The programme also includes two of the Op. 34 Shostakovich Preludes, in transcriptions by Dmitri Zyganow, again played with remarkable assurance and maturity. Chang is marginally less convincing at this early stage, however, in any less obviously demonstrative offerings. Tchaikovsky's Souvenir dun lieu cher, Op. 42, and Kreisler's Tempo di Menuetto after Pugnani are certainly charming, but a shade inflexible. Chang is adroit, yet unyielding in Milstein's arrangement of the Chopin Nocturne in C sharp minor, and the same could also be said of the Liszt transcription. Her naturally spontaneous playing is heard to greater effect in the Gershwin transcription, but it should be stressed that these few vaguely negative observations do not alter the basic facts—this is an astonishing disc. Sarah Chang's playing will enthrall and captivate in equal measure. I can do little more than echo Sir Yehudi Menuhin's observation: "Sarah is the most ideal violinist I have ever heard"—I would urge you to hear this disc as a matter of priority. -- Michael Jameson, Gramophone [1/1993]
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Works on This Recording

1. Caprices (24) for Violin solo, Op. 1: no 1 in E major by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1805; Italy 
2. Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42: no 3, Mélodie by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Sarah Chang (Violin), Sandra Rivers (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
3. Salut d'amour, Op. 12 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Sarah Chang (Violin), Sandra Rivers (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1889; England 
4. Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra/Piano, Op. 25 by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1883 
5. La capricieuse, Op. 17 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; England 
6. Gayaneh: Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian
Performer:  Sarah Chang (Violin), Sandra Rivers (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942/1957; USSR 
7. Tempo di Menuetto in the style of Pugnani by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
8. Caprices (24) for Violin solo, Op. 1: no 15 in E minor by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1805; Italy 
9. Nocturne for Piano in C sharp minor, B 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830 
Notes: Arranged: Nathan Milstein
The attribution of this composition to Chopin is doubtful. 
10. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 10 in C sharp minor, Moderato non troppo by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Sarah Chang (Violin), Sandra Rivers (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Notes: Arranged: Dmitri M. Zyganow 
11. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 15 in D flat major, Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Notes: Arranged: Dmitri M. Zyganow 
12. Porgy and Bess: It ain't necessarily so by George Gershwin
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Notes: Arranged: Jascha Heifetz 
13. Consolations (6) for Piano, S 172: no 3 in D flat major, Lento placido by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849-1850; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Nathan Milstein 
14. Love for Three Oranges: March, Op. 33b no 1 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Sandra Rivers (Piano), Sarah Chang (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranged: Jascha Heifetz 

Sound Samples

March (from the Love for Three Oranges): March
Concert Fantasy on Carmen, Op.25: Introduction: Allegro moderato
Concert Fantasy on Carmen, Op.25: I. Moderato
Concert Fantasy on Carmen, Op.25: II. Lento assai
Concert Fantasy on Carmen, Op.25: III. Allegro moderato
Concert Fantasy on Carmen, Op.25: IV. Moderato
Salut d'amour Op.12
La Capricieuse, Op. 17
Sabre Dance (from Gayane)
Tempo di Minuetto (in the style of Pugnani)
Caprice No. 1 in E. Op. 1
Caprice No. 15 in E minor. Op. 1
Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor. Op. post.
Prelude No. 10 in C sharp minor, Op. 34
Prelude No. 15 in D, Op. 34
It Ain't Necessarily So (from Porgy and Bess)
Consolation No. 3 in D flat
Melody in E flat, Op. 42/No. 3
March (from the Love for Three Oranges)

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