Arabella Steinbacher, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin – Britten & Hindemith: Violin Concertos (2017)
DSD64 Stereo (.dsf) 1 bit/2,8 MHz | Time: 65:48 min | 2，6 GB
FLAC Stereo (tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | 65:48 min minutes | 1,261 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet
Internationally acclaimed violinist Arabella Steinbacher presents a dazzling album which brings together two of the most challenging concertos of the 20th century: Britten’s Violin Concerto, Op. 15 and Hindemith’s Violin Concerto. Full of intense and emotive moments alongside vivid virtuosity, Steinbacher shines with the support of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and conductor Vladimir Jurowski.
There are few clearer demonstrations of the high level of technical ability among violinists today than the profusion of good recordings of Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, Op. 15, which Jascha Heifetz said was unplayable, but which is confidently taken on here by Arabella Steinbacher, accompanied by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Vladimir Jurowski. It is indeed a fearsome virtuoso essay, one of the few Britten wrote. One factor recommending this version over others is the pairing with Paul Hindemith’s Violin Concerto, not a work commonly heard in the 21st century. It makes sense here: both concertos were composed in 1939, and the Britten has the flavor of a work prepared for the extroverted American market. The Hindemith has, perhaps, a different, more melancholy flavor of exile. Sample Steinbacher’s performance in the slashing second movement of the Britten, where her perfect control does suggest Heifetz. The two concertos also both refer to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, both in their timpani strokes and in a more general relationship of soloist to orchestra; Jurowski’s accompaniment is unusually sensitive and well-integrated with Steinbacher’s lines. Pentatone’s studio sound, rather eerily clear, is another major attraction.
01 – Benjamin Britten: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 15: I. Moderato con moto
02 – Benjamin Britten: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 15: II. Vivace – Largamente – Cadenza
03 – Benjamin Britten: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 15: III. Passacaglia. Andante lento, un poco meno mosso
04 – Paul Hindemith: Violin Concerto: I. Mäßig bewegte Halbe
05 – Paul Hindemith: Violin Concerto: II. Langsam
06 – Paul Hindemith: Violin Concerto: III. Lebhaft
Produced by Job Maarse. Recording engineer: Erdo Groot.
Balance engineer: Jean-Marie Geijsen. Editing by Erdo Groot.
Recorded in April 2017 at the Haus des Rundfunks, RBB, Berlin, Germany.
Arabella Steinbacher – violin
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Berlin Radio SO)
Vladimir Jurowski – Conductor