The dazzling showpieces of violin legend Pablo Sarasate meet their match in Julia Fischer, one of the most sought-after musicians of her generation, delivering virtuoso pyrotechnics in a stunning recital disc. The key track is Sarasate’s most celebrated composition: Zigeunerweisen (‘Gypsy Airs’). With its heady czardas rhythms and folk flavour, it is best known as a showpiece for violin and orchestra, but Fischer and her long-standing accompanist Milana Chernyavska present it here as it was originally written, for violin and piano.
The Aeolian Quartet's epic cycle, originally released in the Seventies, was one of the gramophone's major contributions to Haydn's cause. Listening to the performances anew I find they have lost none of their freshness: they were based on the latest research, and the playing itself is always intelligent and thoughtful, with Emanuel Hurwitz's sweet-toned violin-playing a great asset throughout. (Misha Donat)
I Solisti Veneti is one of the first rank of small Italian chamber orchestras with modern instruments. Founded in Padua in 1959 by Claudio Scimone, it has made a reputation especially with Italian Baroque music, recording many works by Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Francesco Geminiani, Benedetto Marcello and Giuseppe Tartini. Giuliano Carmignola and Piero Toso were two of the soloists in the ensemble. The group has made over 300 recordings, many on the Erato record label. A number of these were first-ever recordings of works of Vivaldi, Albinoni and Rossini.
…While the better-known Franck symphony receives top billing on this album, Ernest Chausson's Symphony in B flat is a shining example of a student surpassing his teacher. Chausson's handling of the orchestra seems much more deft and natural. While elements of Franck's teaching are quite clear, so too are the influences of Wagner and Debussy. The sweeping melodies and lush accompaniments are again handled with the utmost attention to detail by Janowski and the OSR.