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Lisa Batiashvili plays Brahms & Clara Schumann (24/96 FLAC)

Lisa Batiashvili plays Brahms & Clara Schumann (24/96 FLAC)
Lisa Batiashvili plays Brahms & Clara Schumann (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann
Performer: Lisa Batiashvili, Ferruccio Busoni, Alice Sara Ott
Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden
Conductor: Christian Thielemann
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Catalogue: 4790086
Release: 2013
Size: 812 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Brahms, Busoni: Violin Concerto in D, Op.77
01. 1. Allegro non troppo
02. 2. Adagio
03. 3. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace – Poco più presto

Schumann C: Romances, Op. 22
04. 1. Andante molto
05. 2. Allegretto
06. 3. Leidenschaftlich schnell

Following her critically hailed Deutsche Grammophon debut, Echoes of Time – and growing acclaim for her concert appearances – violin virtuosa Lisa Batiashvili meets every challenge of Brahms’s monumental Violin Concerto.

With maestro Christian Thielemann and the instrumentalists of the Staatskapelle Dresden, for whom German Romanticism is the birthright, Lisa Batiashvili’s elegant, eloquent artistry finds ideal partners. Meeting Thielemann exceeded all her expectations: “. . .his conducting was wild and fiery. At the same time I always had the feeling that I was being supported by the orchestra and that I had time to react.”

Rounding out the programme are Clara Schumann chamber pieces which Batiashvili plays together with young pianist Alice Sara Ott. For the first time in their careers they teamed up to play the three romances.

Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili (whose name appears in the graphics in Georgia’s uniquely beautiful script) is a worthy avatar of the great Russian school. Perhaps the strand of that tradition she most recalls is the one flowing from Jascha Heifetz, with his steely tonal perfection, long lines, and grasp of overall structure. These qualities serve Batiashvili well in the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, a work for which there is certainly no shortage of available recordings. Where Batiashvili has the advantage over her peers, however, is in her close relationship with the orchestra here; this is her first recording with the Staatskapelle Dresden orchestra, of which she is “Capell-Virtuosin.” It shows in her close work with conductor Christian Thielemann at the joints of Brahms’ vast first-movement canvas, perhaps the most perfect marriage of sheer virtuosity with profound structural thinking in the history of music. The points at which the movement’s intermediate dotted-rhythm theme return and mark the movement’s sectional organization are handled with special snap here. Batiashvili, playing a fearsome cadenza by Ferruccio Busoni in the first movement, is technically superb, but she doesn’t let technique overwhelm enthusiasm. The other strong point of this performance is the rousing finale, which is not unprecedented but is definitely not common among younger players fearful of stepping out. Again, Batiashvili manages a variety of sharp but not harsh attack to match Thielemann’s rhythmic drive. If there’s a downside here, it’s the conclusion of the album, a trio of Romances for violin and piano, Op. 22, by Clara Schumann. These are worthwhile and underplayed pieces, but an orchestral potboiler would have been better; the music lurches from orchestra to violin-and-piano texture, and the switch in sound environment from the Lukaskirche in Dresden to the Bavaria Musikstudios in Munich is jarring. It sounds as though one recording has been taken off and another one put on. The Brahms is so good that this is no more than a minor complaint, however. Highly recommended.

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