James Ehnes / Gianandrea Noseda / Amy Schwartz Moretti

Prokofiev: Complete Works for Violin

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Canadian violinist James Ehnes has become a familiar sight in British recording catalogs, with technically suave performances that don't draw too much attention to themselves. In Prokofiev, with his combination of formal gravity, virtuosity, crystalline, balanced lyricism, and a bit of dark humor, Ehnes finds his ideal creative match. There's not really any reason to do all of Prokofiev's violin music together as a set; it comes from various stages of the composer's career and is not really linked by any creative principle. The concertos are substantial pieces with gorgeous melodies for slow movements, the equal of any in Prokofiev's output. The sonatas are virtuoso pieces written with the great David Oistrakh in mind. There are a spare duo sonata, a solo sonata written for students, and a light set of Five Melodies for violin and piano. What holds it all together is simply that Ehnes' performances are brilliantly idiomatic to the music. The long, complex lines of the concertos seem inevitable in his hands, and the slow finale of the Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 19, is achingly beautiful. Ehnes puts on a reasonable facsimile of Oistrakh's rich tone in the sonatas, and each of the smaller pieces emerges as an individual statement. Strongly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19
1 9:45
2 3:41
3 8:43
Sonata in C major, for two violins, Op. 56
4 2:56
5 2:59
6 3:22
7 5:13
Sonata in D major, for violin solo, Op. 115
8 4:53
9 3:41
10 4:21
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63
11 10:35
12 9:37
13 6:12

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata No. 1 in F minor, for violin and piano, Op. 80
1 6:32
2 6:28
3 6:56
4 7:13
Five Melodies for Violin and Piano, Op. 35bis
5 2:23
6 2:53
7 3:28
8 1:24
9 3:27
Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94bis
10 8:15
11 4:53
12 3:48
13 7:26
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