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Lalo, Chausson, Ravel / Vadim Repin, Kent Nagano, London SO


Release Date: 10/19/1999 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 27314   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Edouard LaloErnest ChaussonMaurice Ravel
Performer:  Vadim Repin
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Thanks to recordings, some of them made when the Siberian-born Vadim Repin was quite young, I have been following his career for years with interest and appreciation, and I have also enjoyed hearing him in concert, where he demonstrated an ability to whip an audience into high excitement with his virtuoso flair and big, clear tone. Repin studied in Siberia with the noted teacher Zakhar Bron, and has gone on to win the Wieniawski and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium competitions. This release rather neatly demonstrates that the key feature of Repin's artistic personality, first and foremost and unashamedly, is virtuosity. A virtuoso makes his points through speed and control, and Repin's technical control is at a stratospheric level. As to speed, Read more portions of Tzigane will surprise greatly, for in passages where many violinists accelerate into a frenzy, Repin starts and remains with the setting at frenzy without sounding hard-pressed. In the Lalo, the speed of the second-movement Scherzando can be hair-raising, and while one might justifiably complain that this is subjugating the music into a mere vehicle for the soloist, well, I have to admit that while I am finding it harder to sit still through the Lalo, I had no such problems giving Repin's recording repeated hearings. Fortunately, his bravura approach does make room for the necessary charm and, as Tchaikovsky put it, piquancy.

Muscle and speed would be fatal to Chausson 's Poème, and Repin rightly plays in a sensuous manner. It is ardent and passionate, if a bit sweaty, and does not capture the airborne magic of Milstein's old EMI recording (no other recording known to me does).

Perhaps Repin is not the probing or searching artist that his fellow Bron pupil Maxim Vengerov is, but Vengerov's probing and searching have at times led him into sounding mannered (I felt that way about his Brahms Concerto/Sonata No. 3 CD with Barenboim). Repin is a more straightforward interpreter and just as magnificent an executant, and on that basis his recording can be recommended. The sound is acceptable, but I had to turn up the volume quite a bit to get the full depth of the orchestrations.

Repin, by the way, plays the Ruby Strad of 1708, lent to him by Chicago's Stradivari Society. It happens to be the very violin on which Pablo de Sarasate played the premiere of the Symphonie espagnole some 125 years ago. Remarkable objects, violins.

-- David K. Nelson, FANFARE [3/2000]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Vadim Repin (Violin)
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  Walthamstow Hall, London, England 
Length: 32 Minutes 52 Secs. 
2.
Poème for Violin and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Vadim Repin (Violin)
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  Walthamstow Hall, London, England 
Length: 15 Minutes 51 Secs. 
3.
Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Vadim Repin (Violin)
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  Walthamstow Hall, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 36 Secs. 

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