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Bohemian Rhapsodies / Leila Josefowicz


Release Date: 05/13/1997 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 454440   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Pablo de SarasateCamille Saint-SaënsHenri WieniawskiJules Massenet,   ... 
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

We violin fanciers are an odd lot when it comes to evaluating “new“ violinists. The most glittering recommendations from reliable authorities? Brushed off. Recordings of major concerto or sonata repertoire—and Josefowicz superbly recorded the once-unplayable Sibelius and Tchaikovsky concertos (Fanfare 19:3)? Very nice, very impressive—but can they really play the fiddle? It's not until they have recorded the chestnuts that we finally feel prepared to pass judgment. As a consequence, there is a set of pieces that has been recorded by just about every major artist since the dawn of the LP, and I have reviewed dozens of CDs by young and promising artists with contents almost precisely identical to this release. Many have been excellent. And Read more many of the excellent artists have not been heard of since, a fate I do not predict for Josefowicz.

The playing is first-class in every respect, just as one would assume from her concerto disc. Josefowicz has the big, rich tone and the clean mastery of technical difficulties that one wants to see in a major violin talent. And she does invest these pieces with a good dose of warmth and emotion, if not the high individuality of tone and approach that one hears from Rabin, Heifetz, Milstein, Francescatti, Ricci, and the like. She stretches the Chausson to seventeen minutes without inviting tedium, and she adds, as a few others have done, to my delight, Carmen's big aria, “En vain pour éviter“ (in the Zimbalist arrangement) to the Sarasate. If you wonder, from the title, where the Bohemian Rhapsodies are, well, they aren't, although I tracked down violin pieces with that title by Toborowsky and Ond?í?ek. Evidently the title is meant to evoke the raging hormones promised by Josefowicz's rather purple program notes and the disc's “art,“ on the disc and within the notes: “romance novel“ photos of a hot babe (our soloist? could be, as she is most comely) being clinched by a cheesy Fabio wannabe. The actual manner of playing on this disc is too tasteful to try to match any of that, to my relief, although it could be argued that the disc, in the grand tradition of the romance novel, promises more (or at least, something other) than what it delivers.

Note to the fiddle fanciers: yes, she really can play. What, you don't trust me?

-- David K. Nelson, FANFARE [9/1997] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra/Piano, Op. 25 by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1883 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2.
Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 28 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 46 Secs. 
4.
Polonaise brillante for Violin and Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 4 by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Russia 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
5.
Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6.
Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 22 Secs. 
7.
Poème for Violin and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 17 Minutes 25 Secs. 

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