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Anne Akiko Meyers - Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Etc.


Release Date: 08/30/1997 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 61700   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnRalph Vaughan WilliamsAntonín DvorákJules Massenet
Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Anne Akiko Meyers is a thoughtful rather than a flamboyant virtuoso, and the four items here suit her exceptionally well. There is no feeling that the shorter pieces are in any way mere fillers, so rapt is her playing.

The sweet, gentle opening of the Mendelssohn Concerto, as presented by Anne Akiko Meyers, immediately sets the pattern not only for that central work, but for the whole, unusual collection on this disc. As her previous discs for RCA have demonstrated, this violinist, born in California in 1970, is a thoughtful rather than a flamboyant virtuoso, and the four items here suit her exceptionally well. There is no feeling that the shorter pieces are in any way mere fillers, so rapt is her playing, with the
Read more opening of the Vaughan Williams bringing a pianissimo of breathtaking intensity, as instantly established by the Philharmonia strings under Andrew Litton.

Particularly after reviewing Itzhak Perlman's live version of the Mendelssohn, recorded in Chicago, I have inevitably been struck that this is a small-scale reading, but in context that hardly matters. From the limited range of dynamic here as well as the total absence of forcing—even when in the finale she plays with quicksilver velocity at a tempo no slower than Perlman's—one's impression tends to be confirmed that Meyers's tone is not large, but she compensates in sweetness and poetry. My only reservation is that in her legato playing the microphone tends to pick up and exaggerate the occasional unwanted portamento. Her flowing speed for the Andante completely avoids sentimentality, however sweetly lyrical the result.

In a way I am sorry that the Vaughan Williams is not placed first on the disc, for there the raptness of Meyers's playing is even more striking, and Andrew Litton—who from the start of his career has shown what great sympathy he has for British music—makes the most understanding accompanist. The atmospheric intensity of the performance is enhanced by the vividly full-bodied recording, built on a very solid bass, and the refinement of sound, with the violin set naturally rather than spotlit, is equally impressive in the Dvorak, which emerges as far more than just a salon piece with a Slavonic flavour. The Massenet too, which can seem all too sweet, is played with a natural gravity, with Meyers avoiding the temptation to exaggerate her warm G-string tone. Though there are many other versions of the Mendelssohn with obviously higher priorities, this one, offering an unusual sequence of other items, all played with compelling dedication and poetry, and recorded in vivid sound, clearly has its place.'

Edward Greenfield, Gramophone (2/1994)
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
2.
The lark ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914/1920; England 
3.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor, Op. 11/B 39 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1877; Bohemia 
4.
Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 

Sound Samples

Allegro molto appassionato
Andante
Finale: Allegretto non troppo; Allegro molto vivace
The Lark Ascending, Romance for Violin and Orchestra
Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F Minor, Op. 11
Meditation

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