Rachel Barton Pine / José Serebrier

Beethoven, Clement: Violin Concertos

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Contemporaries, amicable friends, and even mutual admirers, the legacies of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Clement could not have ended up being more different. In fact, Clement's name is little known today save for music history buffs who recognize the close relationship he had with Beethoven and are aware that Beethoven wrote his Violin Concerto with Clement in mind. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine is heard on this Cedille album playing these two closely intertwined concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Jose Serebrier. In fact, this recording represents the first for the Clement concerto, a work that has remained essentially dormant for almost two centuries. Clement's concerto, which was written approximately two years prior to Beethoven's, takes a great many stylistic cues from the younger master, especially in the expansive double expositions and orchestrations. The solo violin part bears many similarities to Mozart. Pine's performance is captivating, elegant, and delicate from her first entrance; the cadenza, which Pine composed herself, are vivacious without being overly showy. Her commitment to the composition is admirable and is sure to gain attention both for it and herself. Her performance of the Beethoven, by contrast, is a little bit of a disappointment. While just as technically strong and musically coherent as the Clement performance, Pine simply seems to run out of new things to say in this warhorse concerto. Even her cadenzas for the Beethoven are lacking in any real, new interest.

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