Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sergei Prokofiev, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Charles Dutoit|
Prokofiev: Violin Concertos 1 & 2. Tchaikovsky: Serenade Melancholique
Leila Josefowicz is a young violinist whose brilliant tone and alert rhythmic sense are made for Prokofiev's Concertos. She also has an interpretive profile of her own, with lyric movements taken a bit slower than usual an... more »
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Leila Josefowicz is a young violinist whose brilliant tone and alert rhythmic sense are made for Prokofiev's Concertos. She also has an interpretive profile of her own, with lyric movements taken a bit slower than usual and faster moments full of slashing accents and powerfully sculpted phrasing. Technically, she displays the kind of wizardry that makes competitors look for day jobs, and in the Tchaikovsky, neatly placed between the Prokofiev works, she offers a rich lower register and seems to revel in the sentimental lyricism of the music. But impressive as her performances are, there's more poetry and depth to the Prokofiev Concertos, as witness the classic performances of David Oistrakh or even those of her contemporaries Maxim Vengerov and Gil Shahan. Dutoit's accompaniments are routine and the engineering favors the violin over the orchestra. --Dan Davis
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A True Virtuosa!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Leila Josefowicz is a commanding presence on stage (one of the most strikingly elegant and beautiful violinists before the public) and is that class of musician who respects and delivers virtuosic performances of a wide range of music. John Adams has written for her and there are other designated concerti on the way.
In the two Prokofiev concerti Josefowizc plays with skilled abandon, producing a rich volume of tone from the instrument while never clouding the rapid movements with blurring. Her attacks are precise and incise and her definition of phrasing is impeccable. She truly inhabits these two major works.
The surprise and welcome delight on this recording is her inclusion of the Tchaikovsky 'Sérénade mélancolique', a moment of pause in between the stunning rigors of the Prokofiev works for the listener to refresh and prepare. A wise choice. She is well supported by Charles Dutoit and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Though the technical aspect of the recording places the violin component a bit too far forward for Josefowicz' well-known collaborative stance with an orchestra, that is a minor quibble in this fine recording. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 05"
FEARLESS, HEARTFELT PROKOFIEV
Melvyn M. Sobel | Freeport (Long Island), New York | 03/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Josefowicz is absolutely luminous here, astounding in her art, rhythmic vitality and musical sensuality, and the Prokofiev Violin Concertos have never shed their secrets so exquisitely, or willingly. There is an obvious avoidance of the more coarse nature inherent in these works, the "slice and dice" pyrotechnical mannerisms so beloved by composer and artist alike. Instead, Ms. Josefowicz approaches the music with an intuitive spontaneity and a poetic reverence that raise compositional insights to exceptional heights. The balance of movements, each melodically rich, and each exploring fascinating emotional contrasts, is superbly judged. Listening to Josefowicz play is to realize how totally immersed she is, how irresistibly lyrical, how ethereal. Hers is a talent devoid of pretense, self-aggrandizement and arrogance. For her, the music, and what it communicates, comes first. Fearless in showing us the heartfelt humanity of Prokofiev, despite the consequences, she humbly reveals her own as well. If these performances are a tad "soft-grained" and romantic, compared to most, they are the better for it, and compellingly attractive.
Her performance of Tchaikovsky's Serenade Melancolique is, as well, touched by grace, its expressive beauty tenderly poised.
Dutoit and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal offer lush, warm support throughout, never overpowering the soloist, whose violin is captured most faithfully. Dutoit obviously knows what a gift Ms. Josefowicz truly is and has no qualms at all in openly sharing the bounty she brings.
[Running time: 60:28]"
Powerful Prokofiev Concerti!
Donald G. Hite III | Houston, Tx USA | 06/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that Josefowicz really delivers on this CD. The Prokofiev 1st Concerto is one of my favorite violin concertos (though it took several listenings before I really got into it), and this recording is spectacular.
Josefowicz's playing is quite aggressive (this is true in all her recordings that I've heard), and there are moments on this disc where her sounds is almost grating. However, I think, considering the nature of the pieces (the first concerto in particular), that Josefowicz wide range of tone color is intentional and well thought out, rather than just a kind of wild abandon. I say this because, she is able to quickly switch between gritty, abrasive sounds and sweet, legato, beautiful melodies, depending on the demands of the music. Also, even at her most aggressive, her technique is always perfectly controlled and accurate (being out of control would usually be accompanied by sloppy or uneven technique, from my experience).
The only other recording I have of these works is by Isaac Stern. Josefowicz's versions are clearly my favorite, those Stern has many valuable things to say as well. If you are a fan of Prokofiev and the violin, this CD is a must have. You won't regret it."