From the July-August 2020 issue of Strings magazine
In this issue’s roundup of new recordings, cellist Inbal Segev plays Elgar with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Quatuor Ébène plays Beethoven’s string quartets, violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Jon Kimura Parker play three American violin sonatas, and cellist Amit Peled and the Aviv Quartet play Schubert. In print, the new edition of Oskar Rieding’s Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 35 by G. Henle Verlag could be required for all students.
A century separates the paired repertoire on cellist Inbal Segev’s new recording: Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, written in 1919, and Anna Clyne’s DANCE, from 2019. The album was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of Marin Alsop (who first introduced Segev and Clyne). Elgar’s concerto, completed soon after the end of World War I, was the last major work he produced, reflecting his sense of a world lost to the war. Clyne’s DANCE, inspired by a 13th-century poem and commissioned by Segev, sees its world-premiere recording here. (Avie)
There’s been a fair amount of Beethoven going around in this anniversary year, and Quatuor Ébène seems to have taken the phrase literally. The ensemble’s newest release comprises all of Beethoven’s 16 quartets, recorded in seven different cities around the world: Vienna, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Nairobi, and Paris. Envisioned as a part of the group’s extensive “Beethoven Around the World” tour (40 concerts, 18 countries, 6 continents from April 2019 to January 2020), the album is meant to stress Beethoven’s universal quality. (Erato/Warner)
It is, of course, possible to feel a personal connection to music written by a composer centuries ago. However, it doesn’t get much more personal than Three American Violin Sonatas, a new recording by violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. All three sonatas, written by John Harbison, Paul Schoenfeld, and Steven Stucky, were commissioned by Lin himself, who considers “all three composers [as] personal friends.” Also included on the album is Canon for Aaron by Leonard Bernstein, who wrote it for Aaron Copland’s 70th birthday. (Naxos)
Cellist Amit Peled adds his talents to those of the Aviv Quartet on the ensemble’s recent recording of Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, D. 956. This work, written at the end of Schubert’s life at age 31, is paired with another of his chamber pieces, written 11 years earlier: the String Trio in B-flat major, D. 581. The pieces’ contrasting characters reveal a master of the chamber-music idiom at work. (Naxos)
Oskar Rieding: Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 35 (G. Henle Verlag)
Born in Banie, Poland, in 1846, Oskar Rieding rose through the ranks, first at the Berlin, then Leipzig conservatories, and Budapest where he spent 32 years as first violinist of the National Theatre Orchestra. As a dedicated and renowned violin pedagogue, he realized there was a lack of suitable beginner material and wrote a series of instructive works and concertinos for violin and piano, probably not intending them to be performed with orchestra.
Ranking among the classics of the teaching repertory, Rieding’s Concerto in B minor is one of the most frequently performed by students and is an ideal introduction to more advanced works for solo violin and orchestra. With its beautiful melodies and undemanding technical level, this piece is a favorite with teachers and students alike. Although it can be played entirely in the first position, there is opportunity to use higher positions as one progresses.
The steps taken at this stage in firming the technique and developing tonal color undoubtedly stand one in good stead for life. No student should leave the studio without this charismatic work securely in his or her fingers! This miniature, condensed concertino will lead any young aspiring violinist to confident musicianship. Itzhak Perlman included this work in a recording, Concertos from My Childhood, that featured those of Seitz, Accolay, de Bériot, and Viotti. He clearly thrived on his rich student concerto diet before scaling the heights.
In the absence of manuscript or other proofs, the first edition of this concerto by Bosworth in 1909 is the only source material for this fastidious new Henle edition.
Other new publications: