TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35; SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47; Lisa Batiashvili; Staatskapelle Berlin; Daniel Barenboim

Every young virtuoso has these two concertos in their back pocket. Georgian fiddler Lisa Batiashvili is among them. Her family left Georgia in 1991 and settled to study in Hamburg, After successes on the BBC, and at the Sibelius Competition, Batiashvili began her concert career. She quickly made a name for herself for refined, expressive playing. All of which may be heard on this wonderful new DG release. 

Conductor Daniel Barenboim always chooses highly expressive, musical partners. Years ago, his fiddler of choice was always Pinky Zukerman. His latest partner, Batiashvili is equally expressive of tone and blessed with a wonderful technique.  

Both concertos play with the heart too much on the sleeve if not careful. Barenboim reigns in the emotion (the performances are still highly stylized) so Batiashvili's tone never loses its creamy centre. His brilliant orchestra is no small help in this regard.  

That done, our soloist is left to her magical devices to weave pearls of Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. Her tone glows on this DG recording. 

Technically, nothing fazes Batiashvili. The famous G string swirls at the opening of the Sibelius or the whirls and fury of the Tchaikovsky finale. Nothing. You'll be transported by the sound of her 1739 Guarneri del Gesu violin. 

Grounding all this magical virtuosity is the magnificent Staatskapelle. Barenboim's opera orchestra (now one of the finest concert orchestras) matches its soloist in expression and power.  

Each phrase from the two oft played concertos is matched by individual solo playing from the orchestral ranks. Most concerto recordings these days gets a journey man orchestra as accompanist. Batiashvili gets a Rolls Royce. This makes for an engrossing release. 

Shaham, Josefowicz, Repin, Ricci, Perlman, Oistrakh, Mullova, and Chung have all CDs of the Concerto pairing in the wild. Many are very fine -- I particularly like Shaham's CD -- but this new pairing is well above most -- musically, technically and with its parent orchestra and conductor.  

Individually, separate recordings of both concertos are a different thing. There are legions of fantastic recordings -- back pocket stuff, remember? But in the here and now, if you want a superb recording of both concertos on one release, Lisa Batiashvili is your girl. Very highly recommended. 


TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47

Lisa Batiashvili
Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim

Int. Release 04 Nov. 2016

1 CD / Download

Copyright: 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

289 479 6038 6

Total Length: 60:07