Damn, i-D Magazine just made the mix of a lifetime! For realz. The hyper-fashion mag took everything we love about music right now – its pop hits and underground wonders – and packaged them all into its neat April mixtape. Nicki Minaj gives us a little “Beez In The Trap” while Jai Paul croons smoothly over “Jasmine.” It’s going to be 75 degrees in New York this weekend, so something tells us this will be the all-day-on-repeat jam. Listen in below:
Violin Sonata No. 2/(arr. Oistrakh) Violin Sonata No. 2/Variations on an Original Theme/Old Folks at Home (arr. Kreisler); Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (arr. Heifetz)
Modern Brewery Age September 1, 2008 | Ritter, Steven E BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 2. PROKOFIEV (arr. Oistrakh) Violin Sonata No. 2. WIENIAWSKI Variations on an Original Theme. FOSTER Old Folks at Home (arr. Kreisler); Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (an. Heifetz) * Alexander Gilman (vn); Marina Seltenreich (pn) * OEHMS 592 (65:18) This is the debut recording of 26-year old Alexander Gilman, a Bamberg native who spent some time studying in the United States only to return to Cologne, where he took up with Professor Zakhar Bron. He has won several competitions (the latest in 2006) and has received generally favorable reviews.
His technique is quite the monster, though that seems to be de rigueur these days. I mean honestly, do we ever see any young players that possess anything but extraordinary technical abilities? We must delve deeper in order to determine who will pass muster and who will end up as one-disc wonders. And these days with restricted recording contracts and comparatively limited exposure, a debut disc becomes much more important. I think that Gilman has chosen wisely for this release, though I am not happy with everything here. go to website highlights for brown hair
First, let’s talk about the good. This is one of the finest readings of the Prokofiev Flute Sonata that I have heard, present here in the Oistrakh arrangement. The famous violinist basically left everything in place while adding some double-stops and the work has become deservedly popular in this form. I don’t mind the change of instrumentation, as I have never been convinced by the flute version-the flute just doesn’t seem capable of the sharp-edged rhythms and convincingly angular melodies that Prokofiev wants. Yet, and I know this is odd, the most effective recording I have ever heard of this work is on the bassoon in an arrangement played by former Montreal Symphony bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson (Ball Media 1809). She hits all the corners at perfect speed, and the jaunty sound of the bassoon works very well here, especially in the lower register, one of the problem spots that I have with the flute. To me the violin arrangement only clones the same types of issues there are with the flute, but Mr. Gilman is able to add a certain wild precision to this piece that makes me pay attention in a way the work normally discourages. It is a very fine effort that gains respect each time you hear it, though you may well feel schizophrenic about the instrumentation. I do believe that Gilman holds up very well even in comparison to the great Oistrakh (Testament) or to Sitkovetsky (Virgin). For a fine flute recording, Galway and Argerich (RCA) will serve you well, but do consider the Jackson. highlightsforbrownhairnow.com highlights for brown hair
The Wieniawski Variations are just what you would expect-virtuoso fireworks of the highest order, with some spots of fine melodic accompaniment and an obvious piece for a debut CD, as each one needs a flashy moment or two. Gilman throws it off like nothing, and the 12-minute timing is neither too long nor too short. The curious inclusion of the two Stephen Foster songs comes as quite a surprise, both in the heading and in the hearing. Though I do admire their inclusion and it is something of a bold programmatic move to put them in, they are a bit out of element with the other works here, though I think we can forgive Mr. Gilman for their presence.
The Second Sonata of Johannes Brahms faces the toughest competition, this being a work beloved of generations of violinists and listeners, and recorded ad infinitum. Gilman is not without virtue in this work, and senses a noticeable need of timing and tempo in places, like the last few bars of the last movement, where I have always thought that a judicious slowing of the tempo before the final chords is most effective. Gilman does just that, and it works well. But he also wants to indulge in some unseemly bowing, where the effect is uneven and sloppy. The disciplined mannerisms of the Prokofiev are absent in Brahms, and one must approach the work with a more comprehensive sense of how the different micro-phrases relate to one another. It is not simply a matter of bringing out the most romantic pathos in a phrase that one can find, but in the connecting of those phrases in a consistent manner. The result here is a sense of sloppiness, certainly not in technique, but in conception. Even the young Anne-Sophie Mutter understood this in her EMI recording, still remarkable for its finely gauged proportions. And you can feel romance aplenty-clean romance, in the playing of Ilya Kaler on a splendid Naxos recording.
So while not altogether successful, this disc can be recommended for some highly practiced playing (and the sound is terrific here), and a young man’s first take at Brahms (though I feel he will want to return to it in about 10 years). But Gilman is certainly someone to be on the lookout for. He can be justly proud of this issue. Steven E. Ritter Ritter, Steven E