Nicola Benedetti’s new Decca album released today

Nicola Benedetti’s new Decca album released today

Benedetti explores contrasting Russian violin concertos in an album of two works composed four decades apart

Released on Decca Classics July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016 (New York, NY) – Nicola Benedetti’s new album, featuring the violin concertos of Glazunov and Shostakovich, is released today amidst key U.S. concert dates (listed below), including the U.S premiere at Ravinia of Wynton Marsalis’s new Violin Concerto which was composed especially for Benedetti.

Nicola Benedetti’s new album is a journey between two different, yet connected, concertos for the violin. Glazunov’s glittering 1904 work is separated from his pupil Shostakovich’s 1947 concerto, not only by 40 years, but also by several landmark events in history: the Russian Revolution, Stalin’s Terror and the Second World War. Benedetti performs these two works with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Kirill Karabits. This is the second album that Nicola Benedetti has recorded with BSO and Kirill Karabits and follows the hugely successful The Silver Violin.

Benedetti says of these two works, “The works on this album are polar opposites in their emotional expression, orchestral color, formally and technically, and reflect the enormous shift in compositional trends during the first part of the twentieth century.”

Alexander Glazunov’s compact concerto is full of flowing lyricism and its three movements and cadenza are played continuously. Benedetti comments, “I think the music needs enormous freedom; it’s lilting Romanticism invites a chamber music-like conversation. In the Andante, there is such a sense of fantasy as it is so delicate and effervescent. The interweaving of violin with horn and wind soloists requires a flexibility and sensitivity back and forth between soloist and orchestra, and indeed within the orchestra. We have to trust each other implicitly to have this freedom.”

While Glazunov’s work boasts a sense of freedom, Dmitri Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto was composed at a time of great artistic control in the Soviet Union. At the concerto’s crisis point, the violin is competing with the brass. Benedetti says, “I cannot compete with the horns, but the music is asking for this edge, this extremity. When you get to the peak of this it is as if you are physically exhausted, there’s a sudden calm, a hopelessness, and you are left alone playing with just strings plucked in unison, drained of all color. That moment leading into the cadenza sends shivers down my spine every time, whether listening or playing.”

Benedetti says of conductor Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, “Embarking on a concerto like this you need to have complete trust in your collaborators; this is no time for micro-managing a performance. Kirill is brilliant at finding the right focus, of ensuring things aren’t over-indulgent, he’s steadfast and uncompromising and we both worked towards the same end. Put that beside the great warmth and vivacity of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and I had the right partners.”

Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto (U.S. Premiere)
July 12, 2016
Chicago Symphony/Cristian Macelaru
Ravinia Festival
Chicago’s Highland Park, IL

Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto (Westcoast Premiere)
July 28, 2016
Los Angeles Philharmonic/Cristian Maacelaru
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA

Brahms Double Concerto & Beethoven Triple Concerto
July 14, 15, 16 & 17, 2016
Minnesota Orchestra/Andrew Litton/Leonard Elschenbroich
Orchestra Hall
Minneapolis, MN

Korngold Violin Concerto in D Major
July 22 & 23, 2016
Grand Teton Festival Orchestra/Donald Runnicles
Grand Teton Music Festival
Jackson Hole, WY

Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto (Eastcoast Premiere)
October 27 & 29, 2016
National Symphony Orchestra / Christoph Eschenbach
Kennedy Center
Washington, D.C.