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Williams: Treesong, Violin Concerto / Shaham, Williams, Boston SO


Release Date: 09/18/2001 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471326   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John T. Williams
Performer:  Gil Shaham
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Treesong shimmers like a mist, with the solo violin becoming a passionate, solitary voice. Both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gil Shaham give totally dedicated performances.

This beautiful disc should win quite a few admirers - both for the music and for the soloist, Gil Shaham. Shaham is probably the finest violinist of his generation, the natural heir to Perlman, and the only violinist of the Dorothy Delay school of violin teaching who has anything remotely like an individual sound, blessed as he is with the ability to spin a bel canto line of pure soul-searching sound. Either live on the stage, or recorded on disc, a Shaham concert is high quality - and his sound is both instantly identifiable and instantly
Read more unforgettable. At one stage during the Waltonian slow movement of the Violin Concerto he produces a pianissimo of such breathtaking clarity and beauty it is literally heart-stopping. The excerpts from Schindler's List put his sound into perspective: the three pieces have an elegance and tonal refinement that is utterly compelling to hear (and the recording he is given is simply sumptuous). Yet, whilst superficially beautiful they are also as moving as Perlman's were for the original soundtrack, even if Shaham does not surpass Perlman's own recording of them. Perlman is simply elemental in a way unlikely to be surpassed – born, as it were, to play this music.

The Schindler's List excerpts, part of one of the supreme film scores of the last thirty years, shows Williams in his most classical vein. His two violin works have similar classical strength - reminding me slightly of Korngold, who moved between the two genres effortlessly, even if the music is very unlike Korngold's. If Treesong, is more idiomatic (although almost reminiscent of late Takemitsu) it is the revised 1998 Violin Concerto which impresses most. A work obviously indebted to the concertos of Prokofiev and Walton it shares with those composers' concertos an intense lyricism and almost paralysing virtuosity in the outer movements: the opening bars, for example, scale almost two-and-a-half octaves and elsewhere there are virtuosic flourishes that border on the frenetic. Treesong shimmers like a mist, and the soloist is often required to turn his instrument into a passionate, solitary voice. Binding both works together is a masterful grasp of the symphonic, the orchestration kaleidoscopic in its imaginative brilliance.

Both the Boston Symphony Orchestra (long term collaborators with Williams) and Gil Shaham give totally dedicated performances. A wonderful disc, and a beautifully recorded one too.

-- Marc Bridle, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin by John T. Williams
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976/1998; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1999 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 30 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: 1998 
2.
Treesong by John T. Williams
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1999 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 20 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3.
Schindler's List: Main Theme by John T. Williams
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1999 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
4.
Schindler's List: Remembrances by John T. Williams
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1999 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 6 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5.
Schindler's List: Jewish Town "Krakow Ghetto - Winter '41" by John T. Williams
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1999 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

TreeSong for Gil Shaham: Doctor Hu and the Meta Sequoia
TreeSong for Gil Shaham: Trunks, Branches and Leaves
TreeSong for Gil Shaham: The Tree Sings
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in Memory of B.R.W: Moderato
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in Memory of B.R.W: Slowly (in peaceful Contemplation)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in Memory of B.R.W: Broadly (Maestoso) - Quickly
Three Pieces from Schindler's List for Solo Violin and Orchestra: Theme from "Schindler's List"
Three Pieces from Schindler's List for Solo Violin and Orchestra: Jewish Town
Three Pieces from Schindler's List for Solo Violin and Orchestra: Remembrances

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