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Cat. No. CHAN 10690 Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10690 - Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2/Viola Concerto
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Available From: 15 August 2011

Chandos CHAN 10690

Bartók: Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2; Viola Concerto – James Ehnes, BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda

Hailed as ‘the Jascha Heifetz of our day’ (The Globe and Mail, Canada), the violinist James Ehnes is widely considered one of the most dynamic and exciting performers in classical music, appearing regularly with the world’s finest orchestras and conductors. Accompanied here by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda, he is the soloist in Bartók’s two violin concertos, in which he plays the ‘Marsick’ Stradivarius of 1715, as well as in the viola concerto, performing on the ‘Rolla’ Giuseppe Guadagnini viola of 1793, on loan from the Fulton Collection.

‘These three concertos are among the most striking examples of Bartók’s early, middle, and late periods, each showing a very different side of one of the great musical voices of all time; they are among my very favourite pieces to perform’.

James Ehnes


“The rapport between the BBC  Philharmonic and its conductor laureate Gianandrea Noseda is amply illustrated, with James Ehnes a technically flawless soloist (both as violinist and violist)...”

The Sunday Telegraph – 11 December 2011

         ’Critics Choice
"Passion, tang, bravura and a beguiling lyricism make all these performances utterly compelling"
Geoffrey Norris - Gramophone - December 2011

“...Ehnes’s recording is an amazing achievement ... and is blessed with terrific sound, and will not disappoint any lover of this music or of great violin playing.”
Andrew Morris – ClassicalSource.com  - 15 November 2011

“...Unusually, the three concerti are gathered on one CD by the Canadian James Ehnes, and fine works they are with superb performances from the beautifully toned soloist with alert and sympathetic support by the BBC Philharmoic under Gianandrea Noseda.”

Peter Spaull – Liverpool Daily Post – 14 October 2011

                     Artistic Quality 10                Sound Quality 10
“...the quality of Ehnes’ playing and the value of the program earn this disc a top recommendation.”
David Hurwitz – Classics Today – 7 October 2011  

“The Strad Recommends”
“...He [Bartok] is aided and abetted by the BBC Philharmonic on the very top of its form, with terrific woodwind and hefty brass, and Giandrea Noseda a sensitive, dynamic partner. The sound is clean and clear, with the soloist to the fore in a warm resonant acoustic.”
Tim Homfray – The Strad – November 2011

                         Performance *****      Recording *****
“...Chandos could not have chosen a more ideal team for this project than James Ehnes, Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic. Here they demonstrate an instinctive understanding for the different musical characteristics of each work, from the late-Romantic ardour of the First and the more complex Second to the introverted melancholy of the late Viola Concerto. While encapsulating these distinctive emotional worlds, they nevertheless maintain a tight grip over the music’s structural direction... Chandos have done soloist, conductor and orchestra proud with a warmly engineered recording that allows us to hear a wealth of inner detail.”
Erik Levi – BBC Music Magazine – November 2011

"...Ehnes’s sweet tone and sensitive musicianship make this an unexpectedly rewarding disc, with warm-blooded accompaniments from the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda."     ****
Andrew Clark - The Financial Times - 17-18 September 2011

"...a new Bartók disc that clearly deserves serious attention... This is one of the best recent recordings I’ve heard of this Concerto [Viola], wholly alert to its moments of capriciousness and drama as well as its poetry... this new Chandos release is a very attractive proposition."
Nigel Simeone - International Record Review - September 2011

"CD of the Week"

"In this recording, the Canadian violinist (and violist) James Ehnes places the three works in chronological order, with the great Violin Concerto No 2 rightfully occupying focal position. His sinewy, lean tone is perfect for the mature Bartok’s stark, rebarbative harmonic language, yet he percieves the lyrical, folkloric vein that runs through the composer’s greatest masterpieces.Ehnes makes the attractive but uncharacteristic early concerto worth hearing, but he really warms to the late lyrical manner Bartók adopted for the Viola Concerto ... Noseda’s BBC Phil are on top form and the splendour of Chando’s sound enhances these rewarding performances."
Hugh Canning - Sunday Times - 18 September 2011

“The passionate, playful narrative running through Bartók’s first Violin Concerto is affectionately caught by soloist and orchestra alike in this superb performance by James Ehnes and the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda...”   *****
Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph – 1 September 2011

"...The three concertos here, all played by the superbly expressive Canadian violinist/violist James Ehnes ... span Bartók’s career... Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic are sensitive, skilful partners."
Fiona Maddocks - The Observer - 18 September 2011


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