Fantasies, Rhapsodies & Daydreams / Steinbacher, Foster, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic
Thrilling flights of fancy abound from violinist Arabella Steinbacher in Fantasies, Rhapsodies and Daydreams Spectacular virtuoso playing, bravura passagework and show-stopping melodies are balanced with wistful lyricism and sublime tone painting in this irresistible programme of perennial favourites, played with elan by the violinist Arabella Steinbacher with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, conducted by Lawrence Foster in this new release from Pentatone.
From the high jinks and outrageous showmanship of Franz Waxman's Carmen Fantasie and Pablo de Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen, to the fearsome technical demands of Ravel's Tzigane and the exquisite refinement of Saint-Saens' Havanaise and Introduction et Rondo capriccioso, this album harks back to an earlier era of violin playing.
Were someone to ask me to suggest a disc to introduce them to the violin, I might well steer them in the direction of this one. I rather like the way she pushes on in the central section of The Lark Ascending, and it cleverly elides into the beginning of Saint-Saens's Havanaise. This, the Introduction and Rondo capriccio, and Ravel's Tzigane are given excellent performances. The standout performance comes with the Meditation from Massanet's Thais, done with breathtaking beauty, a turn-on for any newcomer to the violin.
Catalog Number: PTC5186536
Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns, Franz Waxman, Jules Massenet, Maurice Ravel, Pablo de Sarasate, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor: Lawrence Foster
Orchestra/Ensemble: Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Arabella Steinbacher