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Britten: Violin Concerto, Op. 15; Jonathan Berger (b.1954): Jiyeh / Livia Sohn, violin

Notes & Reviews:

Violinist Livia Sohn is the featured soloist on this recording of Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto - a landmark of the repertoire, unbridled in its lyricism and constituting a poignant commentary on the devastating brutality of war. Composer Jonathan Berger, dismayed by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, also wrote a violin concerto, Jiyeh, to express his frustration with the senselessness of war. Sohn, for whom the work was written, is partnered with cimbalom soloist Jan Roykta on this world première recording.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
There is a surprising and most welcome delicacy and sensuous beauty. Sohn's violin spills forth an opulent, warm sound, as she finds a happy balance between the contrasting elements. It is a splendid performance from a most unusual venue: the orchestra of the Teatro Marrucino of Chieti recorded in concert in May 2010. One can perhaps attribute the opulent beauty to Italian conductor Piovano. What a lush interpretation! New Yorker Jonathan Berger (b. 1954) finds his musical roots in folk music from around the world, the songs that deal with labor, antiwar, and civil rights movements. The composition is a masterpiece, an imaginative and expressive combination of great beauty. Ms Sohn's performance (she played the premiere in 2007) is beyond superlatives. She combines it all: tonal beauty, virtuoso display, musical and emotional sensitivity.


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