Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Thu, 06 Oct 2022 13:27:16 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Leila Josefowicz - Bohemian Rhapsodies (1997) Leila Josefowicz - Bohemian Rhapsodies (1997)

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Pablo de Sarasate
01. Fantasy on Bizet's "Carmen," for violin & orchestra (or piano), Op. 25

Camille Saint-Saëns 
02. Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, for violin & orchestra in A minor, Op. 28

Pablo de Sarasate 
03. Zigeunerweisen, for violin & piano (or orchestra) ("Gypsy Airs"), Op. 20

Henryk Wieniawski 
04. Polonaise (No. 1) de concert, for violin & orchestra in D major, Op. 4

Jules Massenet 
05. Méditation, for violin & orchestra (or other arrangement) (from opera "Thaïs")

Maurice Ravel 
06. Tzigane, rhapsodie de concert, for violin & piano (or orchestra)

Ernest Chausson 
07. Poème, for violin & orchestra, Op. 25

Leila Josefowicz  - violin
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields 
Sir Neville Marriner  - conductor


We violin fanciers are an odd lot when it comes to evaluating “new“ violinists. The most glittering recommendations from reliable authorities? Brushed off. Recordings of major concerto or sonata repertoire—and Josefowicz superbly recorded the once-unplayable Sibelius and Tchaikovsky concertos (Fanfare 19:3)? Very nice, very impressive—but can they really play the fiddle? It's not until they have recorded the chestnuts that we finally feel prepared to pass judgment. As a consequence, there is a set of pieces that has been recorded by just about every major artist since the dawn of the LP, and I have reviewed dozens of CDs by young and promising artists with contents almost precisely identical to this release. Many have been excellent. And many of the excellent artists have not been heard of since, a fate I do not predict for Josefowicz.

The playing is first-class in every respect, just as one would assume from her concerto disc. Josefowicz has the big, rich tone and the clean mastery of technical difficulties that one wants to see in a major violin talent. And she does invest these pieces with a good dose of warmth and emotion, if not the high individuality of tone and approach that one hears from Rabin, Heifetz, Milstein, Francescatti, Ricci, and the like. She stretches the Chausson to seventeen minutes without inviting tedium, and she adds, as a few others have done, to my delight, Carmen's big aria, “En vain pour éviter“ (in the Zimbalist arrangement) to the Sarasate. If you wonder, from the title, where the Bohemian Rhapsodies are, well, they aren't, although I tracked down violin pieces with that title by Toborowsky and Ond?í?ek. Evidently the title is meant to evoke the raging hormones promised by Josefowicz's rather purple program notes and the disc's “art,“ on the disc and within the notes: “romance novel“ photos of a hot babe (our soloist? could be, as she is most comely) being clinched by a cheesy Fabio wannabe. The actual manner of playing on this disc is too tasteful to try to match any of that, to my relief, although it could be argued that the disc, in the grand tradition of the romance novel, promises more (or at least, something other) than what it delivers.

Note to the fiddle fanciers: yes, she really can play. What, you don't trust me? -- David K. Nelson, FANFARE [9/1997],

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]]> (bluesever) Leila Josefowicz Thu, 09 Apr 2015 16:38:23 +0000
Leila Josefowicz Plays Beethoven, Ravel, Salonen, Grey, Messiaen (2005) Leila Josefowicz Plays Beethoven, Ravel, Salonen, Grey, Messiaen (2005)

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Disc: 1
1. Theme: Modere Variations
2. I. Modere
3. II. Un Peu Moins Modere
4. III. Modere, Avec Eclat
5. IV. Vif Et Passione
6. V. Tres Lent
7. I. Allegretto
8. II. Blues: Moderato
9. III. Perpetuum Mobile: Allegro
10. I. Wonder Years
11. II. Clear Lake
12. III. Eruption play

Disc: 2
1. Lachen Verlernt For Solo Violin
2. I. Allegro Moderato
3. II. Adagio Espressivo
4. III. Scherzo: Allegro-Trio-Coda play
5. IV. Poco Allegretto-Adagio Espressivo-Tempo I
6. Scherzo In C Minor

Leila Josefowicz - violin
John Novachek – piano


After eight releases, in 2002 Leila Josefowicz bade farewell to her longtime label Philips and it took three years for her to re-emerge with another high-profile label, this time Warner Classics. Her first release thereon is the two-disc Leila Josefowicz Plays Beethoven, Ravel, Salonen, Grey, Messiaen. Outside of her recording of Messiaen on the demure disc For the End of Time and her work with composer John Adams, Josefowicz's recordings have remained rather mainstream in terms of literature. With Leila Josefowicz Plays, on which she is partnered with pianist John Novacek, Josefowicz steps out a bit with more Olivier Messaien and two new works written for her by composers Mark Grey and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Josefowicz's is a rather small voice -- her violin never rises to a full fortissimo and in the Ravel Violin Sonata in G major she has some trouble being heard in relation to Novacek's full-bodied piano accompaniment. However, it is a very pure and expressive tone that has matured considerably in direct comparison to the earliest work she did for Philips. In Messiaen's early Theme and Variations, Josefowicz's transparency of tone works well for the vaguely spiritual and transcendent nature of Messiaen's music. The new works are both for solo violin: Grey's Sam Andreas Suite brims with the salty air and foliage found on the California coastline -- New York critics might hate it, but it is a very attractive piece of music. Josefowicz is extremely lucky to have approached conductor/composer Salonen when she did, because he has responded to her commission with one of his finest creations. Lachen verlernt is a fluid, continuous gesture that weaves a spider-web-thin line between the peripheries of the abstract and the emotional, and is perfectly suited to the specific talent of Josefowicz. By way of an encore, Josefowicz dispatches the Brahms C minor "F.A.E. Sonata" Scherzo in a rambunctious and energetic performance that is a lot of fun.

Leila Josefowicz Plays is two discs rather than one, and by anyone's measure it's a whole lotta Leila. Nonetheless, it is highly enjoyable throughout, perhaps more so than anything she has done in terms of recordings, well establishing to her peers and her fans that by now Josefowicz is not just another pretty face. ---Uncle Dave Lewis, Rovi


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]]> (bluesever) Leila Josefowicz Sun, 07 Nov 2010 21:28:57 +0000