The virtuoso violin works of Fritz Kreisler are a cornerstone of the violin repertoire, particularly for up-and-coming violinists eager to make their mark by demonstrating their technical prowess. All too many premiere albums, however, focus on these works, which can become rather vapid after 60+ minutes. Fortunately for listeners, 16-year-old violinist Caroline Goulding uses only four of Kreisler's charming works before moving on to bigger and better things. Considering her age and that this is her first album, Goulding offers up an impressively ambitious program. Following a playfully spirited performance of the four Kreisler shorts, Goulding jumps right in to the intensely demanding Corigliano Caprices from The Red Violin. Goulding's playing here is simply stunning. Not only is her technique virtually flawless throughout, but she possesses a musical maturity decades beyond her young age. Continuing with Paul Schoenfield's Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano, Goulding plays a rhythmically driven Samba, a sultry Tango, a laid-back Tin-Pan Alley number, and finally a jaunty Square Dance. Her playing is consistently energetic, with a nice sense of spontaneity and successful risk-taking. Her tone is beautiful -- thanks in part to her Amati violin -- with deep, guttural G- and D-strings and a sweet, round tone even in the highest registers of her E string. The program ends with a playful and technically brilliant execution of Vieuxtemps' Variations on "Yankee Doodle," some Heifetz transcriptions of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and finally, a soulful, riveting Cape Town Island Fiddling. Above all, Goulding has instantly proven herself to be a musician of widespread talents. Her career shall be one to watch with great interest and anticipation.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|The Red Violin Caprices, for violin (for the film "The Red Violin")|
|Souvenirs (4), for violin & piano|
|Selections (5) from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, arrangement for violin & piano|