Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, etc.

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, etc.

by Nicola Benedetti



If Nicola Benedetti's debut album skirted the mainstream fringe of the repertoire by featuring a seductive but little-known violin concerto by Szymanowski, her sophomore release takes aim at the heart of the canon with a performance of one of the most eternally popular of all violin works, the lyrical concerto of Felix Mendelssohn. Benedetti's sweet tone makes for an ingratiating reading of this music, bringing an especially fresh and youthful presence to the effervescent finale. Equally light on their feet are the members of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, providing a perfectly matched accompaniment for the soloist under James MacMillan's direction. As with her debut, Benedetti fills out this disc with a selection of shorter pieces, both old and new. Mostly, they showcase the violinist's tenderly expressive side, especially Mozart's Adagio, K. 261, and a new arrangement of Schubert's "Serenade" ("Leise flehen meine Lieder," originally from the Schwanengesang). A graceful performance of Mozart's Rondo, K. 373, and a quietly touching arrangement of Schubert's "Ave Maria" for violin and harp also prepare the way for the album's climax, the world premiere recording of MacMillan's From Ayrshire. Written for Benedetti, its title refers to the county in Scotland that both composer and violinist come from. This intriguing work evokes a mysteriously hushed landscape in its opening movement and a more boisterous dance in its brief conclusion, pushing Benedetti in both cases toward more unusual and even unrestrained forms of expression that are just as engaging as the rest of her performances on this appealing album.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/14/2006
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947631590
catalogNumber: 000768202


  1. Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
  2. Adagio for violin & orchestra in E major, K. 261
  3. Rondo for violin & orchestra in C major, K. 373
  4. Schwanengesang (Swan Song), song cycle for voice & piano, D. 957: Serenade (Leise flehen meine Lieder, D 957)
  5. Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
  6. Ayrshire, for violin & orchestra

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