Janine Jansen / Daniel Harding

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Souvenir d'un lieu cher

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Violinist Janine Jansen and conductor Daniel Harding offer listeners Tchaikovsky's two most popular works in the violin repertoire. The Violin Concerto is the most frequently performed and recorded of its genre, often used by violinists for important debuts in different countries or with different conductors and orchestras. Jansen is no exception. She performed it for her London debut, with the conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, which is where Decca executives heard her and decided to offer her a recording contract. This 2008 release on that label features her recording of the concerto and of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir d'un lieu cher, in the violin and orchestra version. The concerto differs from other recordings in that Jansen is accompanied by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which is a smaller ensemble than the typical orchestra. The grouping should make it feel more intimate, yet Jansen is known for her fiery, passionate, and intense interpretations, and given the drama inherent in Tchaikovsky's music, it may not be as intimate as the listener expects. The setting, however, is more appropriate to the more modest and sentimental Souvenir, with its familiar, warm, lyrical final movement, "Mélodie."

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