Various Artists

Romantic Violin: Classical Music for Intimate Moments

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Just over 54 minutes in length, Romantic Violin: Classical Music for Intimate Moments doesn't seem like much of a bargain, especially when most budget discs run closer to 80 minutes; the eight selections -- culled from Denon's extensive back catalog for this 2008 Radiance release -- are not exceptional or rare enough for the effort it might take to track down this CD. However, it may help prospective buyers to know that this small collection of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic violin music is at least pleasant and agreeable, and the performances are adequate renditions of the pieces, though not necessarily the most compelling. The movements from violin concertos by J.S. Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saƫns, Max Bruch, and Edouard Lalo, along with the famous Minuet in A major by Luigi Boccherini and Salut d'amour by Edward Elgar, are fairly representative of the violin repertoire, and the playing by such Denon artists as Chee-Yun, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Sigrid Cenariu, and Boris Belkin is warm, round, and expressive, precisely what one may expect. The recorded sound is a little uneven from track to track, owing to the different ensembles, venues, and session dates, though all the recordings are digital and they flow smoothly without any jarring changes of volume.

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