For the first time in history, twelve of the most wonderful violins ever made by violin maker Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) have travelled across the world for a single ground-breaking project with violin superstar Janine Jansen. The resulting album, 12 Stradivari, captures the individual characters of each instrument in specially-curated music accompanied by Sir Antonio Pappano at the piano.
Today, Stradivari’s instruments can reach prices well over $20 million, and some of the foundations and museums that own them loan them out only on rare occasions. This is also why this recording is particularly special: some of these 12 Stradivari have not been played for many decades and, possibly, have never ben commercially recorded before. Others belonged to legendary virtuosi including Fritz Kreisler, Nathan Milstein, Ida Haendel and Oscar Shumsky.
Jansen has won prizes including the Herbert-von-Karajan Preis 2020, the Vermeer Prize 2018 from the Dutch government, five Edison Klassiek Awards, the NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement, the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award, and the Concertgebouw Prize, to name just a few.
Overall, what leaps out is the sheer quality, consistency and stylishness of Janine Jansen’s playing. She conjures up the mood of each piece with seemingly effortless and flawless technique. Pappano is a sensitive partner, bending the pulse of the music to respond to Jansen’s organic rubato.
– BBC Music Magazine
What emerges from this comparative listening odyssey is simply an even richer love and admiration for Jansen’s own artistry.
– Gramophone (Editor's Choice; Awards Issue)