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Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ray Chen, violin

Audio Samples

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Concerto for Violin in D minor

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Concerto for Violin in D minor
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The Observer
It's easy to see why Sony have snapped [Chen] up for star treatment. His tone is silken, his technique faultless, his musicianship persuasive as well as controlled and poetic. He can also handle the grand, febrile romanticism of these two mainstream works...We'll hear a lot more of Ray Chen.

Gramophone Magazine
Magnificent technique, of course; the trickiest passages can seem like child's play to him. But what impresses most is Chen's musicianship - he's able to make the listener aware of the emotional import of each phrase, apparently spontaneously, as though he's only just considered playing it that way...In his hands, the music is like a living thing; one senses that each performance will have its own individual character...All in all, a most impressive release.

BBC Music Magazine
Chen's debut CDs were a real tonic, marrying effortless virtuosity with musicianship of the highest order, and I'm delighted to report that his first concerto recording maintains his high standards. Both he and Daniel Harding understand the differences between these two masterpieces...A completely captivating issue.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
The problem is recorded sound that's kind of hard, blowsy, and gray. This affects the orchestra more than the soloist. The Swedish Radio Symphony plays sturdily and diligently under Harding; they're attentive, supportive accompanists. Everybody gets the job done. That's the problem: the performances sound like just another job. I can't imagine preferring this to the Hudecek (Nov/Dec 2011) or Benedetti recordings. Heifetz and Munch (RCA) bring more fire and ice and a sort of controlled madness to the Mendelssohn. For the Tchaikovsky, Heifetz-Reiner (RCA) and Szeryng-Munch (also RCA) offer vastly better orchestral contributions and better sound.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/09/2011).



Reviews

Ray Chen Records his Competition-Championed Repertoire
Sony Classical is pleased to announce the release of Ray Chen’s first concerto recording on the label with the two Romantic masterpieces that have played a significant role in the young artist’s career to date. His interpretation of the Mendelssohn E minor Violin Concerto led to his triumph at the 2008 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists. The following year the violinist’s insightful performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto secured him first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. For his second Sony release available on February 7, Ray Chen is joined by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its musical director Daniel Harding.

Ray Chen brings a fresh interpretation to these cornerstones of the violin repertoire and he finds kindred spirits in Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. “Music is teamwork,” says Ray Chen, and he explains his choice of these works for the new release on Sony Classical: “I won with Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. Maybe I bring something new and fresh to them. In any event, I would never take on something that I didn’t feel ready for.” Alongside his technical mastery, it is precisely the maturity of his playing which has impressed many critics. In the words of the Chicago Tribune: “He is an exceptional talent.”

His debut album, Virtuoso, was released worldwide by Sony Classical in early 2011 to great critical acclaim. “This is a hugely exciting debut album, “stated BBC Music Magazine, and the Financial Times observed that “Chen’s artistry blazes.” The album also received the German ECHO Klassik Award 2011 and the French Classica Magazine’s Choc de Classica award.

2011 has been a significant year for the 22-year-old Chen. The recital tour with the Virtuoso repertoire thrilled audiences in Tokyo, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, and Dresden. His debuts at the Verbier and Dresden Festivals led to immediate re-engagements for 2012, and audiences at Ravinia and Schleswig-Holstein, where he performed with the Munich Philharmonic, gave him standing ovations. In 2010 at the Asian Games Festival in Guangzhou he appeared at a sold-out event with the Seoul Philharmonic and Myung-Whun Chung. Future engagements include performances with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan.

Ray Chen was born in Taiwan and grew up in Australia. At the age of eight he was invited to play solo with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1998 performed at the opening celebration concert of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. At the age of 15 he was accepted for studies with Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music. Ray Chen plays the 1721 “Macmillan” Stradivarius, which was part of his award as winner of the 2008–09 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.



Submitted on 02/01/12 by McDowell 
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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35
  • Performer: Ray Chen (Violin)
  • Conductor: Daniel Harding
  • Ensemble: Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/09/2011)
  • Running Time: 35 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1878

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Concerto for Violin in D minor
  • Performer: Ray Chen (Violin)
  • Conductor: Daniel Harding
  • Notes: Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/09/2011)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 09/16/1844