Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's playing in my car?

Picked this up on sale at Arkivmusic.com for $9.99 a few weeks ago based on its positive reviews.  It's been leading the classical charts in the UK now for weeks.  Initially, I asked myself, do I need another CD of the Korngold Violin Concerto?  I've loved that piece since I was in high school, when a violinist friend of mine introduced it to me and bought me a CD of Heifetz performing the work for my birthday.  The Heifetz recording is one of the classics, especially since the work was dedicated to him.  Nicola Benedetti gives a very nice performance of her own of concerto, backed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by the young talented conductor, Kiril Karabits.  What really caught my attention on this album, though, was not so much the concerto but the shorter pieces arranged for violin and orchestra which fill out the rest of the album (in fact they surround the concerto, being placed both before and after it on the CD).  Some of these are well known (e.g. Schindler's List theme, Por una cabeza), but two pieces really jumped out at me.  One was the theme to the 2004 movie "Ladies in Lavender", which starred Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.  I've never seen the film, but the theme is beautiful.  Benedetti's violin really sings on this work, and I've found myself repeating this track over and over in the car on my way to work.  The second track is the last one, "Gluck, das mir verblieb (Marietta's lied)" which is from Korngold's opera, Die Tote Stadt.  I believe that this is a violin transcription of one of the arias.  It is also lovely!

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