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Ernst: Othello Fantasy, Six Polyphonic Studies, Elegy, etc / Ilya Gringolts, Ashley Wass

Album Summary

>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Fantasie Brilliante on a Theme from Rossini's "Otello," for violin & orchestra, Op. 11
>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Polyphonic Studies (6) for violin solo
>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Elégie for Violin in C minor, Op. 10 "Sur la mort d'un objet chéri"
>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Grand Caprice for solo Violin on Schubert's "Erlkönig", Op. 26
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Moravian violin virtuoso Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (1814–1865) was a legend in his own lifetime. His personal wizardry and magnetism can now only be glimpsed from the written testimony of his contemporaries, yet traces of it live on in his output as a composer who significantly extended the boundaries of bravura technique. Unjustly, Ernst has long been the sole province of violin specialists. As a notable musical thinker, Ernst combined the reckless virtuosity of Paganini and Liszt with a sure instinct for musical substance, putting transcendent technique at the service of something more than mere display.

'Ilya Gringolts has the measure of both the virtuosity and the romantic sensibility - his performance of the fantasy is quite outstanding ... he plays the lyrical passages with an intense commitment that's reminiscent of Heifetz. His imaginative grasp of the music's expressive character makes for a gripping account of the Elegy ... and the unaccompanied items fare just as well ... Gringolts' technical command, beautiful intonation and exciting, deep involvement with the music make for a great listening experience' (Gramophone)

'[Ernst] His playing and his compositions astonished and delighted thousands. His transcription of Schubert's Erlkönig, played here with fiery vehemence by the young Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts, is a demonic tour de force worthy of Pagannini himself' (Sunday Times)

'In the right hands, such as those belonging to Ilya Gringolts, it actually achieves a degree of musical viability ... What profundity there is comes from the listener's shivering realization that the humanly impossible is being achieved right before his ears, and apparently without effort. Even the formidable Midori, in her Carnegie Hall recital, doesn't make us forget how absurdly difficult this work is, the way that Gringolts does ... Gringolts's cantabile playing is as remarkable as his agility. Pianist Ashley Wass ... is rock solid and always complementary' (International Record Review)

'No one has come close to equalling the technical prowess and musicality that Gringolts displays here' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Ilya Gringolts meets Ernst's formidable technical challenges with apparent ease, and his playing here is virtually flawless even in the most taxing flights of virtuosity ... He also dispatches Ernst's transcription of Schubert's Erlkönig with breathtaking aplomb and close regard for the dark atmosphere and sinister detail of Goethe's poem. Pianist Ashley Wass provides sterling support in the accompanied works, especially in the soulful, recitative-like introduction of the Elegy, in which Gringolts is at his own lyrical and intimately expressive ... Violin virtuosity reigns supreme' (The Strad)

'Violinists will marvel at the astonishing ability of Ilya Gringolts in getting his fingers around this music with pianist Ashley Wass' (Liverpool Daily Post)

'Gringolts represents Ernst as a sensitive yet large-scale player, far removed from either empty display or stultifying classroom academicism. Nevertheless, he out-sparkles Ricci in the Second Study, which he takes at a tempo I would never have imagined possible... In the next Study, dedicated to Joachim, he slows down to reveal the full range of sentiment with which Ernst laced it ... The Élégie... offers perhaps a purer strain of lyricism, and Gringolts, playing it with more panache than might be expected in such a work, makes its romantic rhetoric surprisingly convincing... Gringolts's collection should be essential listening for violinists, offering a sort of authentic recreation that should interest much wider audiences as well; heartily recommended to them too' (Fanfare, USA)

'Blessings on Ilya Gringolts for having the cojones, as well as the fingers, to record Ernst's Six Polyphonic Studies for Solo Violin ... The performances are among the greatest displays of virtuosity I have ever heard. Gringolts even supasses his teacher Itzhak Perlman in the magic fingers department' (American Record Guide)

'The playing must be heard to be believed... Ernst's music bristles with all imaginable - and some unimaginable - instrumental tricks... Gringolts performs all these hair-raising feats with apparent ease. His intonation never falters, his tone reamins pure... Most admirably, he makes the acrobatics sound like music, with melodies that sing and soar, elegant phrasing, tonal variety, charm and expressiveness' (Strings Magazine, USA)



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Works Details

>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Fantasie Brilliante on a Theme from Rossini's "Otello," for violin & orchestra, Op. 11
  • Performers: Ilya Gringolts (Violin); Ashley Wass (Piano)
  • Notes: Crear Studio, Argyll East, Scotland (11/11/2006-11/13/2006)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Polyphonic Studies (6) for violin solo
  • Performer: Ilya Gringolts (Violin)
  • Notes: Crear Studio, Argyll East, Scotland (11/11/2006-11/13/2006)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Elégie for Violin in C minor, Op. 10 "Sur la mort d'un objet chéri"
  • Performers: Ilya Gringolts (Violin); Ashley Wass (Piano)
  • Notes: Crear Studio, Argyll East, Scotland (11/11/2006-11/13/2006)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm : Grand Caprice for solo Violin on Schubert's "Erlkönig", Op. 26
  • Performer: Ilya Gringolts (Violin)
  • Notes: Crear Studio, Argyll East, Scotland (11/11/2006-11/13/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic