TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)
STRAVINSKY: Les Noces
Nadine Koutcher (soprano), Natalya Buklaga, Vasiliy Korostelev, Stanislav Leontieff
MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis
Label: Sony Classical, 88875165122
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Testament to the versatility and musical command that Teodor Currentzis and his unique orchestra and choir possess, this new album brings together two diverse masterworks from two titans of Russian music. Although they have been acquainted for a long time prior, this recording represents the first musical collaboration between Teodor Currentzis and the exceptional violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The instant artistic rapport (an “artistic wedding” of sorts) between these two maverick musicians can be heard in this dynamic new recording of Tchaikovsky’s Violin concerto – one of the most popular works in the violin repertory. Currentzis’ authentic approach to the folk influences in Stravinsky’s music (as revealed in Le Sacre du Printemps) is again very present in his interpretation of Les Noces. This work for percussion, pianists, chorus, and vocal soloists – originally composed as ballet music – is probably one of Stravinsky’s most rarely recorded works. The work is based on a Russian peasant wedding, which the cover artwork references. Exceptional to this new recording is that the MusicAeterna choir members are all native-Russian speakers who bring another level of understanding and authenticity to the work. After her prominent participation in the “Rameau – The Sound of Light” recording, Nadine Koutcher – freshly crowned “2015 Cardiff Singer of the Year” – returns to sing the leading soprano solo part in Les Noces.
“This is one of the most startling and refreshing recordings I’ve heard. Don’t miss it.”
“Kopatchinskaja is willing to go well outside the box of what’s usually considered acceptable in classical music for the sake of a kind of vital expression that embraces squeaks and rosin-y grinding of bow on strings before flowering in a pure flight of crystalline sound, rendered all the more luminous by the comparison. This recording shows the payoff for risk-taking: By digging deeper, you can say more.”
– Washington Post, 25 March 2016
“Das Spektakuläre dieser Aufnahme verdankt sich zum einen der Virtuosität der Solistin Patricia Kopatchinskaja, ihrem Mut zum Risiko, dynamische und damit auch klangliche Extreme auszuloten. Hier sucht eine Künstlerin nicht in erster Linie nach Schönheit, sondern nach Wahrhaftigkeit. Und damit bewahrt sie Tschaikowskys Violinkonzert davor, zu einer pappig-süßen, pseudo-romantischen Klangsoße zu werden.”
– Deutschlandfunk.de, 10 January 2016
“As a specialist in contemporary and recent repertoire, Kopatchinskaja’s turn to such an arch-Romantic as Tchaikovsky was something of a surprise, as she herself observes in her accompanying notes. It’s fascinating to hear her unorthodox take on the work in collaboration with conductor Teodor Currentzis. Their tempi are idiosyncratic, to say the least: often on the fast side, but with occasional moments where it suddenly slows right down for just a few bars, and her playing incorporates all kinds of fireworks – dazzling acrobatic spiccato, adventurous rubato playfulness and more.
…if you want to be taken on a thrilling seat-of-the-pants ride by a master virtuoso then look no further!”
–Presto Classical, 08 January 2016
“Out of all the young violinists, Patricia Kopatchinskaja is the biggest keg of gunpowder. …When she is on fire, she is impassioned and as we know her. But between the eruptions she shows a vulnerable Tchaikovsky, the man who put his soul into reticent measures and fragile notes.”
4 * * * *
De Volkskrant, 13 January 2016