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Beethoven, Britten: Violin Concertos / Janine Jansen, et al

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61
>Britten, Benjamin : Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

Acclaimed Dutch violinist Janine Jansen fulfills a long-held ambition to record Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto alongside the monumental Beethoven Violin Concerto. According to Janine, these are "two of the greatest concertos ever written." Janine has championed the Britten Concerto since she first played it nearly ten years ago. The work, composed while Britten was in his 20s and his first complete composition after arriving in the US in 1939, features both technically brilliant and elegantly lyrical elements.

"From her first recording, Decca have surrounded the Dutch virtuoso Janine Jansen with its best production and highest musical values. The result has been classical music of exceptional calibre, like a high-level cerebral love affair. Jansen and Decca have surpassed themselves with their new recordings of the Beethoven and Britten concertos. They confirm that digital technology has the potential to rival the best analogue recordings of 50 years ago. Jansen's bright silverly Beethoven is a miracle of fluency and passion; she fearlessly puts her stunning virtuosity totally at the service of an interpretation which mounts the music's splendid architecture with undisguised physical exhilaration." -Audiophile Audition

Janine Jansen's performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto pours a pure silvery stream over Paavo Jarvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen's granite crags. That's not to say that the tone Jansen draws from the 1727 Barrere Stradivari lacks gritty strength when she requires it; in fact, miked fairly close, she sounds as though she commands almost the full range of its possibilities... For those seeking a contemporary version of Beethoven's Violin Concerto with a less-frequently played coupling, few could vie with Jansen's. Urgently recommended for its entire program, as well as individually." -Fanfare

BBC Music Magazine
I was completely won over... by Jansen's Britten. Passionately intense in the opening movement, suitably malevolent throughout the Prokofiev-inspired Scherzo and heart-achingly poignant in the closing bars of the Passacaglia...

Financial Times
Thanks to this brilliant recording, Britten's concerto emerges with its stature much enhanced...[Jansen] rises to its technical challenges, conveys its passionate intensity without exaggeration and plumbs its moods of innocence, restlessness and despair.

Gramophone Magazine
Janine Jansen has a rare ability to communicate her thought and feelings about the music while appearing to play in a simple, straightforward manner. The small variations of colour, pressure and emphasis that bring this about transmit a sensation of intense inner life. Whereas others may bring a warmer, more sensuous tone to the Beethoven Concerto... this account turns out to be as absorbing and satisfying as any recent recording. The Britten is very well recorded, too. ...Jansen shows the work's more uncomfortable, angular side. The irregular rhythms and sharp contrasts of the central Vivace are... sharply delineated and, towards the end of the concluding Passacaglia, Jansen builds to a painful degree of intensity and desperation.

Sunday Times
Her playing is sensationally good, in the Romantic tradition, and she proves an intense, impassioned advocate for Britten's still neglected work.


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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61
  • Performer: Janine Jansen (Violin)
  • Conductor: Paavo Järvi
  • Notes: Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg-Harburg, Germany (07/31/2009-08/02/2009)
  • Running Time: 40 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1806

>Britten, Benjamin : Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15
  • Performer: Janine Jansen (Violin)
  • Conductor: Paavo Järvi
  • Notes: Abbey Road Studio I, London, England (07/18/2009-07/19/2009)
  • Running Time: 32 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1939