Violin Concerto in D major. Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Staatskapelle
Dresden. Deutsche Grammophon CD.
The nearly 40-minute brilliance of this concerto is paired
with Clara Schumann's Three Romances for Violin and
Piano, barely nine minutes of salon music that seem short
But enjoy the sweet singing tone of this fine soloist's
instrument, the 1715 Stradivarius previously owned by
Joachim, a violin virtuoso with whom the concerto is well
linked. The required profusion of intimate romance and
impassioned heroism demanded by Brahms' music is heard.
Under Christian Thielemann, the German orchestra takes off at
feverish pace then settles down for the cantilena passages of
the soloist, who will impress listeners with her choice of
the interesting Busoni cadenza. Clara's romances (Alice Sara
Off accompanying), make a good story, but sadly an
Highlight: Gypsy rondo in concerto last movement.
In a Time Lapse. Ludovico
Einaudi (piano) and electronics, with musicians. Decca
Italian composer Einaudi's album broke classical music
records, becoming the first recording to sell more digital
downloads than physical copies, despite being available both
online and in shops. Some 72% of sales of this ''crossover''
CD were digital only.
(His 2011 release Islands also stormed charts, selling
almost identical numbers of physical and digital copies in
the first week.) Here 14 tracks blend evocative piano
minimalism with almost impressionist touches of ambient
electronic sounds, strings, and percussion.
They are a haunting combination of dreamy tunes and busy
soundscapes, pulsing and soothing. The title track starts
with a gentle ticking and builds up to piano and orchestra
making waves. The synthesiser rocks Newton's Cradle in
a modernist, gentle pop style.
Highlights: Opening track Corale and