For violinist Clarissa Bevilacqua, the first-prize winner of the 14th Worldwide Mozart Competitors, it will’ve been straightforward to money in on one more recording of the Violin Concerto No. 5, Okay. 219, which she carried out on the competitors. As a substitute, her debut album Dream Catcher — out at present on Nimbus Data — focuses solely on Augusta Learn Thomas’ full works for solo violin, plus a brand new recording of the celebrated composer’s Violin Concerto No. 3, Juggler in Paradise.
When Bevilacqua gained the Mozart competitors, in 2020, she already had Thomas’ Capricious Toccata: Dandelion Sky in her repertoire, a playful five-minute piece that opens in spurts and wends its manner up and down with a bouncy staccato contact. Bevilacqua and Thomas met by likelihood at a pre-pandemic Chicago recital that included the piece; it was “the primary time that I had the chance to debate a chunk of music with the precise composer,” writes the 21-year-old soloist in her album notes. She quickly delved into extra of Thomas’ violin music and launched into the recording undertaking.
Bevilacqua’s performances in Dream Catcher reveal mature musicianship and an intimate data of this system — a notable slice of latest classical music from the U.S. With a heat tone within the low register, her fluent shifting in dynamics provides emotional resonance, and her strategy to phrasing flows engagingly between Thomas’ moodiness and sunnier temperaments.
And that’s powerful to drag off, for regardless of Thomas’ distinctive aptitude for unaccompanied violin — spanning 21 years from the plaintive sighs and whispers of Incantation (1995) to the solemn, dark-hued meditation of Rainbow Bridge to Paradise (2016) — there’s a related compositional strategy to lots of the works that lingers after repeated listens. Her materials often develops organically from compact cells with a recurring uneven rhythm, undergirding the best way she strings melodies collectively inside a tonal framework. Stresses on the finish of the melodic phrases create a slight lilt, which Bevilacqua accomplishes, including a shimmer to the gliding movement of the music.
A spotlight from the solo items, Rainbow Bridge is punctuated by double stops and clean crescendos; the violin line strikes alongside patiently, luxuriating within the gravitas of Thomas’ sober melodies, initially written for cello. Bevilacqua provides dynamic management and tonal selection, culminating in piercing shards of sunshine within the high-register harmonics on the finish.
Though the album is being marketed as together with the world-premiere recording of the Violin Concerto No. 3, Juggler in Paradise, there’s in truth a stable 2014 recording (out there on YouTube and Amazon Music) by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, with soloist Frank-Peter Zimmermann and conductor Andrey Boreyko, the 2009 world premiere performers. The 18-minute concerto in six steady sections (unnecessarily cut up into tracks within the new recording) is a logical outgrowth from Thomas’ first two essays for violin and orchestra, although the older items — from 1997 and 2005 — name for a lot smaller ensembles.
In Bevilacqua’s studying of Juggler in Paradise, she achieves a comforting introspection in essentially the most intimate sections, particularly in distinction with Thomas’ orchestral musings and ensemble interaction, which incorporates brash and nervy statements that erupt in cycles. At occasions the orchestra creates a misty underbrush; at different occasions it imitates the fixed rolling and swelling of the soloist.
Main the BBC Nationwide Orchestra of Wales, conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni executes Thomas’ pointillistic orchestration with precision, dealing with its shifty sneakiness skillfully. The expanded percussion part consists of bongos that sound distant, pitted towards woodwinds and brass. Within the boisterous “Romp” part, fickle instrumental groupings — notably low woodwinds — scurry noisily and stomp frenetically. However the soloist will get misplaced within the fray; Bevilacqua’s projection doesn’t all the time discover robust footing towards the big, domineering orchestra, and her assault generally is a little tough, however she succeeds in inserting contemplative shimmers of sunshine and colour. Towards the tip, her lambent tone counterbalances a subdued, receding brass line, because the concerto peters out weightlessly with ringing percussion.
“The overwhelming majority of albums on the market cater to a really particular, restricted area of interest of composers and their most well-known works,” writes Bevilacqua within the notes, which speaks to the business’s obsessive programming of canonic Eurocentric repertoire, usually on the expense of residing artists. You may look on Dream Catcher as a small response to that from a big-thinking younger artist whose debut album — “my reply to all these individuals who imagine classical music is a factor of the previous” — makes no concessions, refreshingly.
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