|All Artists: Antonio Vivaldi, Jules Massenet, Erik Satie, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Fritz Kreisler, Hamilton Harty, English Traditional, Nigel Kennedy, Vittorio Monti, Simon Rattle, English Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, John Lenehan|
Title: Nigel Kennedy's Greatest Hits
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: EMI Classics
Release Date: 1/7/2003
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Concertos, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Instruments, Strings
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Violinist Nigel Kennedy long stopped annoying or surprising concertgoers and disc buyers with his looks and manners--the cover of this CD pictures him with red and blue paint on his face, and he's biting his violin. If that irritates you, his playing certainly will not. Here, two movements from Vivaldi's Four Seasons act as bookends to, among other pieces: a Satie Gymnopédie, exquisitely played, with lovely embellishments near its close; Vaughan Williams's floating Lark Ascending; a stunning, virtuosic Bach solo (never before released); a soft-edged Bach chorale; a soupy, sentimental "Danny Boy"; a slightly overwrought "Scarborough Fair"; a piece by Kennedy himself; and a few other surprises. Kennedy's tone is lush and warm, and his emotionalism almost never overwhelms the music. Greatest hits? More like greatest encores. But definitely a terrific 71 minutes of fiddling. --Robert Levine
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o dubhthaigh | north rustico, pei, canada | 01/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is terrific, top to bottom! I can write for hours about the joys of Nigel live, the visual and musical daring, the goose in the arse of most orchestral experiences and the rapturous, clamourous, rock and roll reaction he elicits in the most staid of settings. Classical music was not ready and remains uncertain how to deal with him, mostly because he has the chops and the creativity first and foremost.
This collection underscores his remarkable repertoire. Be it Vivaldi, Beethoven, Kreisler, Elgar or Hendrix, Kennedy upends the expectations of one and all. His intensity is extraordinary, his playfulnesss on stage a joy, his interpretive skills incisive.
At this point, though, what would be even more welcome than this terrific collection, would be a DVD of the man himself in action. I can still hear the crowd at Philadelphia's Academy of Music howling, that's right, howling, for an encore. Sawalisch was not sure what to do. The Orchestra looked stymied. Out came Nigel with the fiddle attached to his forehead. He shouted at the audience that they were possibly further off their rockers than he and then asked if anyone in the orchestra knew any Willie Dixon. One of the double bassists did and they launched into "Gingerale Afternoon." Sheer genius, especially on the heels of Beethoven's volin concerto. Lu himself would have dug it immenseley.
Pick this disc up, then write to his label and insist on a DVD."
Julie A. Smith | Westfield, IN | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I got this CD to use for my "music appreciation" class that I teach to a small group of homeschooled students, I thought I might use just a few of these songs to listen to in class. But we will definitely be spending more time on the whole album--this is one of the best violin solo albums I've heard for a while, and Nigel Kennedy is one of the best violinists I've heard, ever. One can hear the energy and emotion in each song played. The arrangements are beautiful, and the choice of songs on the album are wonderful. This is one to actively "listen to". And yes, I'd love to see a live concert DVD!"