Nielsen, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Vilde Frang, violin

Audio Samples

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35
>Nielsen, Carl : Concerto for Violin Op. 33 (FS 61)

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35
>Nielsen, Carl : Concerto for Violin Op. 33 (FS 61)
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Award-winning Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang pairs Tchaikovsky's romantic and well-loved violin concerto and the unique coloring of Nielsen's concerto in her third release for EMI Classics. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto showcases Vilde's hugely assured virtuosity, but far from mere empty fireworks, she exercises her technical facility as a means to cut to the emotional core of the work. The end result is a truly remarkable recording of this warhorse work - jaw-droppingly accomplished playing fused with a depth of expression that belies her young age. The concerto is not only regarded as one of the most technically difficult pieces in the repertoire but also is considered one of the most famous of all violin compositions.

Carl Nielsen's Violin Concerto is very close to Vilde's heart. Composed in her homeland Norway and premiered in Scandinavia by Danish violinist Peder Møller and the Royal Danish Orchestra, Vilde was very keen to record the concerto. The work has a quintessentially Scandinavian feel: simple but heartfelt melodies wrapped in a spacious, windswept orchestral accompaniment. Often compared to a young Anne-Sophie Mutter, with whom she sometimes performs, Vilde's first recorded album Violin Concertos by Sibelius and Prokofiev, released in January 2010 at the age of 22, was praised by the critics; "rarely has this music sounded so tender, so intimate or so lyrical" (Financial Times), while Independent Record Review called her "prodigiously gifted".

The disc won Best Classical Release at the Norwegian Grammy Awards. Her second album of sonatas by Bartok, Grieg and Strauss with pianist Michail Lifits was released in March 2011 to great critical reception: "Another outstanding disc from Frang, who makes even the most well-worn phrases sound as though they have just arrived freshly minted from the composer's creative workshop" (Classic FM magazine). Vilde received the Newcomer award both at the 2011 Edison Classic awards in Amsterdam and the 2011 Classic BRITs in London.

The Times
Frang shows her mettle as soon as she touches Tchaikovsky's first principal theme, inflected with dynamic dips and weavings guaranteed to make any listener sit up...Solid technique sees her through every peril Tchaikovsky offers, leaving her free to add wit to the dancing finale...The Nielsen itself brings its own special pleasures.

Sunday Times
Vrang makes a bold impression with the Bachian multiple-stopping of the opening chords [of the Nielsen]...She brings an even greater spectrum of tonal colour and expressive shading to this music than her outstanding Danish counterpart Nicolaj Znaider...and her virtuosity is second to none...[the Tchaikovsky] deserves to stand beside classic versions.

bbc.co.uk, 27th June 2012
You can hear more extroverted and confident performances of the Nielsen concerto elsewhere, but Frang's elfin delicacy and honest individuality are compelling. And the concerto actually sounds like Nielsen's here, which it too often doesn't...Frang's lack of nostalgia - her vigour, irreverence and imagination - makes her a vital and refreshing force.

BBC Music Magazine, August 2012
Frang makes almost as much of a strange adventure out of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto as she does of Nielsen's typically quirky specimen...There can be no higher praise for Eivind Hullberg Jensen and his mellow, warmly recorded Danish orchestra than to say that they're unobtrusive but always likeable companions, matching Frang's chamber-musical sensitivies.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2012
It's the individual moments [of the Tchaikovsky] that stand out. In the Canzonetta, her very quiet entry portrays a sense of fragility, yet before the end of the first phrase her playing has become uninhibitedly emotional...I found Frang's Nielsen quite a revelation...[she] emphasises the music's kaleidoscopic aspect, bringing out the poetic quality of many episodes...All in all, it's a most appealing performance.

American Record Guide, May/June 2013
A really fine performance of the Tchaikovsky from this young Norwegian violinist, born in 1986. She already has a string of awards and important debuts behind her, and appears to be something of a protTgT of Anne-Sophie Mutter. This appears to be her third album for EMI. Her playing in I is expansive and un-rushed, fluid and lyrical in II, and crisp and virtuosic in III. This is a piece from a highly talented player of the young generation. This account certainly benefits from decent sound and a serious commitment from the performers, so if you don't already have Nielsen's concerto in your collection, this would be as good a recording as any. If you are a fan of the work, you'll want to give this even more serious consideration.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen (08/29/2011-08/31/2011).



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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35
  • Performer: Vilde Frang (Violin)
  • Conductor: Eivind Jensen
  • Ensemble: Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen (08/29/2011-08/31/2011)
  • Running Time: 35 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1878

>Nielsen, Carl : Concerto for Violin Op. 33 (FS 61)
  • Performer: Vilde Frang (Violin)
  • Conductor: Eivind Jensen
  • Notes: DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen (08/29/2011-08/31/2011)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1911