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Violin Concerto Op. 33 / Andante Religioso / Romance Op. 26

Lisa Jacobs / Bremer Philharmoniker / Mikhail Agrest

Violin Concerto Op. 33 / Andante Religioso / Romance Op. 26

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917279924
Catnr: CC 72799
Release date: 22 March 2019
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917279924
Catalogue number
CC 72799
Release date
22 March 2019

"Jacobs lives up to both pieces, impresses with tonal beauty and a light lyrical sound, but anyone who has heard the rapid, spectacular interpretation of the Nielsen concert beforehand will hardly be able to suppress a yawn. As pleasant-sounding, deeply romantic pieces, both still have their charm."

Klassik.com, 23-1-2020
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About the album

Lisa Jacobs: Since the first time I performed the Nielsen violin concerto in 2007, I have been overwhelmed from the very first note. Such an incredible connection with the whimsical Nordic nature that is displayed in this music, such a natural use of the violin as both a lyrical and virtuoso instrument and such an originality.’

Fanned by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, the longing for pure wilderness and the cultivation of rural life, the Nordic National Romanticism arises. All three composers on this disc are descendants of this Nordic Romanticism. Although they did not all have the same nationality, their lives are intertwined.

In their compositions, Svendsen and Halvorsen remain in form and harmony close to the music of their good friend Edvard Grieg and the distinctive Nordic use of melody; Carl Nielsen, however, goes on a voyage of discovery towards a new idiom with a strong desire for renewal on the one hand and a great need for the revival of the pure archaic on the other.

His violin concerto clearly shows this conflict. In a neo-classical 4-part form, reminiscent of the set-up of the Baroque concerto grosso, with seemingly simple classical-like themes and references to both Bach and Mozart, he takes the listeners on an incredible adventure throughout Nordic landscapes of pure wilderness and takes all sorts of harmonic and rhythmic twists and turns.
De Nederlandse violiste Lisa Jacobs staat bekend om haar gepassioneerde, meeslepende en virtuoze spel. We kunnen er weer volop van genieten met haar nieuwe album met laat-romantische Noordse werken voor viool en orkest. Ze wordt daarbij voortreffelijk begeleid door het Bremer Philharmoniker. "Een violiste om direct te omarmen", noemt Klassieke Zaken haar.

Noordse romantiek

De hoofdmoot van de opname is het, in 1911 gecomponeerde, Vioolconcert van de Deense componist Carl Nielsen. Maar niet minder interessant zijn de twee andere vioolwerken van de Noren Johan Halvorsen en Johan Severin Svendsen, geschreven in de stijl van de Noorse romantische traditie en sterk beïnvloed door de muziek van Edvard Grieg.

Toen Lisa Jacobs in 2007 het vioolconcert van Nielsen voor het eerst speelde, werd ze overweldigd vanaf de eerste noot. Ze zegt daarover: "Deze muziek past zo ongelooflijk goed bij de karakteristieke natuur van de Noordse landen, wát een natuurlijk gebruik van de viool, als een lyrisch, maar ook als een virtuoos instrument, en met zo'n originaliteit."

Hoewel de drie componisten op dit album niet dezelfde nationaliteit hebben, zijn hun levens nauw met elkaar verweven. Alle drie zijn ze aanhangers van het Noordse romantisme, een stroming geïnspireerd door de sprookjes van de gebroeders Grimm, het verlangen naar pure natuur en het landelijke leven. In hun composities blijven Halvorsen en Svendsen in vorm en harmonie dicht bij de muziek van hun goede vriend Grieg en het kenmerkende Noordse melodiegebruik.

De ontdekkingsreis van Nielsen

Carl Nielsen daarentegen gaat op ontdekkingsreis. Hij zoekt een nieuwe muziektaal, met enerzijds een sterk verlangen naar het nieuwe en anderzijds een grote behoefte aan herleving van het puur archaïsche. Deze tegenstrijdigheid blijkt duidelijk uit zijn vioolconcert, dat in een neoklassieke vierdelige vorm in beginsel herinnert aan het concerto grosso uit de Barok. Met schijnbaar eenvoudige klassiek-achtige thema's en verwijzingen naar Bach en Mozart, neemt Nielsen de luisteraar mee op een fantastisch avontuur door het wilde Noordse landschap, op een pad vol harmonische en ritmische wendingen.

Lees ook de recensie van Michel Dutrieue op MeloMe.
Lisa Jacobs: „Als ich Nielsens Violinkonzert 2007 zum ersten Mal gespielt habe, war ich vom ersten Ton an überwältigt. Diese Musik hat eine so unglaubliche Verbindung mit der launischen, nordischen Natur, verwendet die Violine so natürlich, sowohl als lyrisches als auch solistisches Instrument, und mit solcher Originalität.“

Angefacht von den Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm, dem Sehnen nach unangetasteter Wildnis und dem ländlichen Leben erwacht die nordische Nationalromantik. Alle drei Komponisten auf dieser CD entstammen dieser nordischen Romantik. Wenngleich sie unterschiedlicher Nationalität sind, so treffen sich doch ihre Lebenswege.

In Form und Harmonik bleiben Svendsen und Halvorsen in ihren Kompositionen der Musik ihres guten Freundes Edvard Grieg und dem charakteristisch nordischen Melodiegebrauch nahe. Carl Nielsen aber begibt sich auf Entdeckungsreise nach einer neuen Musiksprache, mit starkem Verlangen nach dem Neuen einerseits, und dem starken Bedürfnis für das Wiederbeleben des rein Archaischen andererseits.

Sein Violinkonzert zeigt diesen Konflikt deutlich. Mit neoklassisch vierteiliger Form, die an die Anlage barocker Concerti grossi erinnert, scheinbar einfachen, klassik-ähnlichen Themen und Bezügen zu Bach und zu Mozart nimmt er den Hörer mit auf ein unglaubliches Abenteuer durch wilde, nordische Landschaften auf einem Weg voller harmonischer und rhythmischer Kurven.

Artist(s)

Lisa Jacobs (violin)

‘Musical mastery of this calibre is rarely heard’ (Dutch Telegraph) Dutch violin virtuoso Lisa Jacobs started playing the violin at the age of 6. She was accepted in the Young Talent class of the Utrecht Conservatory by Joyce Tan at only eight years old. She continued studying with Ilya Grubert at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where she has graduated cum laude and with the highest distinction for both her bachelor in 2006 and master-studies June 2009, at which occasion the jury spoke that they ‘were short on superlatives to praise her superb playing’. She also took lessons with Christoph Poppen at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich where she studied for her Konzertexam, which she succesfully finished June 2009. This has been supported by...
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‘Musical mastery of this calibre is rarely heard’ (Dutch Telegraph) Dutch violin virtuoso Lisa Jacobs started playing the violin at the age of 6. She was accepted in the Young Talent class of the Utrecht Conservatory by Joyce Tan at only eight years old. She continued studying with Ilya Grubert at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where she has graduated cum laude and with the highest distinction for both her bachelor in 2006 and master-studies June 2009, at which occasion the jury spoke that they ‘were short on superlatives to praise her superb playing’. She also took lessons with Christoph Poppen at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich where she studied for her Konzertexam, which she succesfully finished June 2009. This has been supported by the foundation Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.
At the age of only 17, Lisa made her successful debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. She has played several times in all the major concert halls of the Netherlands and all around the world ever since, both as a soloist with renowned orchestras and conductors, as a recitalist with her pianist Ksenia Kouzmenko and at chamber music festivals, always to highly critical acclaim, receiving brilliant reviews and finding ecstatic audiences. She receives much attention in both national and international media, with live radio concerts, television broadcasts and interviews. Lisa has won several first prizes in both national and international competitions, one of them being at the 2nd International Jascha Heifetz Violin Competition in Lithuania 2005, where she received the Audience prize as well.
Lisa has followed masterclasses with Thomas Brandis, Julian Rachlin, Sylvie Gazeau, Herman Krebbers, David Takeno, Nelli Shkollnikova, Philip Graffin and Maxim Vengerov, which was broadcasted on Dutch television. She collaborated with amongst others Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symfonia, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Kiev State Symphony Orchestra, Georgian Sinfonietta, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica de Juanaguato Mexico, Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzesse, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Residentie Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra and respected conductors such as Neeme Järvi, Jurjen Hempel Massimo Quarta, Conrad van Alphen, Dirk Brossé, Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli, Juozas Domarkas, Jan Willem de Vriend, Carlos Miguel Prieto and Toby Hoffman.
She plays a Rugieri violin from 1683, given to her on loan by a private person for which she is very grateful. This years engagements include concerts with the Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Mozart concertos, including concert tours to Slovenia, Italy, Georgia and Germany.

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Bremer Philharmoniker

The Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra is the official orchestra of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. In addition to the performance of the music theater in the Theater Bremen, she organizes 28 Philharmonic concerts and has special advantages in chamber music concerts and many projects in the field of music education per season. Director of the Bremen Philharmonic is Christian Kötter-Lixfeld, General Music Director, the time of 2018/2019 Marko Letonja.  
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The Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra is the official orchestra of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. In addition to the performance of the music theater in the Theater Bremen, she organizes 28 Philharmonic concerts and has special advantages in chamber music concerts and many projects in the field of music education per season. Director of the Bremen Philharmonic is Christian Kötter-Lixfeld, General Music Director, the time of 2018/2019 Marko Letonja.


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Mikhail Agrest (conductor)

Mikhail Agrest was born in Saint Petersburg, the son of professional musicians. He emigrated in 1989 to the United States with his family to Charleston, South Carolina, where his parents played in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and continued his violin studies, receiving a degree in violin performance from the Indiana University Bloomington where he studied with Josef Gingold. He returned to Saint Petersburg to study conducting under the legendary Ilya Musin and Mariss Jansons at the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. In the summers of 2000 and 2001 he studied with David Zinman and Jorma Panula at the American Academy of Conducting of the Aspen Music Festival. Back in Saint Petersburg in 2001 Mikhail joined the Mariinsky Theatre, where he has delivered...
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Mikhail Agrest was born in Saint Petersburg, the son of professional musicians. He emigrated in 1989 to the United States with his family to Charleston, South Carolina, where his parents played in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and continued his violin studies, receiving a degree in violin performance from the Indiana University Bloomington where he studied with Josef Gingold.
He returned to Saint Petersburg to study conducting under the legendary Ilya Musin and Mariss Jansons at the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. In the summers of 2000 and 2001 he studied with David Zinman and Jorma Panula at the American Academy of Conducting of the Aspen Music Festival.
Back in Saint Petersburg in 2001 Mikhail joined the Mariinsky Theatre, where he has delivered a long series of successful productions.
As an international guest conductor, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in July 2003 with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra with a production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya. In the same season he made his first appearance at the Royal Opera House in London with Stravinsky's ballets The Rite of Spring and Les Noces.
Continuing his success as a guest conductor, he conducted the award-winning 2006 production of Jenufa at the English National Opera, directed by David Alden. In the summer season of 2008 he conducted productions of Tosca at the Royal Swedish Opera and of Don Giovanni at Opera Australia.
In 2010 he returned to Charleston to conduct the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in a concert.

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Composer(s)

Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age. He initially played in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen from 1884 until December 1886. He premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. The following year, Nielsen began a 16-year stint as a second violinist in the prestigious Royal Danish Orchestra under the conductor Johan Svendsen. In 1916, he took a post teaching at the Royal Academy and continued to work there until his death. Although his symphonies, concertos...
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Carl Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer.
Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age. He initially played in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen from 1884 until December 1886. He premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. The following year, Nielsen began a 16-year stint as a second violinist in the prestigious Royal Danish Orchestra under the conductor Johan Svendsen. In 1916, he took a post teaching at the Royal Academy and continued to work there until his death.
Although his symphonies, concertos and choral music are now internationally acclaimed, Nielsen's career and personal life were marked by many difficulties, often reflected in his music. The works he composed between 1897 and 1904 are sometimes ascribed to his "psychological" period, resulting mainly from a turbulent marriage with the sculptor Anne Marie Brodersen. Nielsen is especially noted for his six symphonies, his Wind Quintet and his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet. In Denmark, his opera Maskarade and many of his songs have become an integral part of the national heritage. His early music was inspired by composers such as Brahms and Grieg, but he soon developed his own style, first experimenting with progressive tonality and later diverging even more radically from the standards of composition still common at the time. Nielsen's sixth and final symphony, Sinfonia semplice, was written in 1924–25. He died from a heart attack six years later, and is buried in Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen.

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Johan Svendsen

Johan Svendsen, along with his exact contemporary Grieg, represents Norwegian Romanticism at its apex. Outside of Norway, where his status has never been questioned, Svendsen, despite his eclipse by Grieg, has nonetheless retained a cult of admirers and it may be only a matter of time before he receives the same belated international interest accorded to Berwald and Nielsen. Svendsen was the son of a military bandsman who instructed him on a number of wind instruments and the violin. This led him, while still a boy, to perform in both a regimental band and dance orchestras, respectively, as well as him composing music for both. His exposure to symphonic classics came with his appointment to the position of first violinist in the Norwegian Theatre Orchestra and the subsequent...
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Johan Svendsen, along with his exact contemporary Grieg, represents Norwegian Romanticism at its apex. Outside of Norway, where his status has never been questioned, Svendsen, despite his eclipse by Grieg, has nonetheless retained a cult of admirers and it may be only a matter of time before he receives the same belated international interest accorded to Berwald and Nielsen.

Svendsen was the son of a military bandsman who instructed him on a number of wind instruments and the violin. This led him, while still a boy, to perform in both a regimental band and dance orchestras, respectively, as well as him composing music for both. His exposure to symphonic classics came with his appointment to the position of first violinist in the Norwegian Theatre Orchestra and the subsequent discovery of Beethoven's music. Further study of the masters developed through his lessons with Carl Arnold, as well as his organizing a small orchestra of his own. Procurement of a royal stipend enabled Svendsen to go the Leipzig Conservatory to study. Svendsen originally aimed for violin virtuosity, but shifted to composition due to nervous problems of the left hand. However, his musicality led to his being allowed to deputize as conductor in the conservatory orchestra. He left the conservatory with honors in 1867, having meanwhile completed his Symphony No. 1 and string quintet. Svendsen returned to Norway where a concert of his own music drew praise from a review by Grieg. Local response, however, was tepid and Svendsen, another stipend in hand, traveled back to Leipzig and then Paris, the latter the scene of increasing performances of his works. The Franco-Prussian War in 1870 aborted a conducting position in Leipzig, but a successful performance of his Symphony No. 1 with the Gewandhaus, as well as his betrothal to an American woman named Sara whom he had met in Paris, seemed ample compensation. Svendsen returned to Norway in 1872 to share directorship of the Christiana Music Society concerts with Grieg. The generosity of a government grant helped create a conducive atmosphere for Svendsen, these years seeing the Symphony No. 2 and his series of Norwegian Rhapsodies. His star continued to ascend with him receiving directorship of the Royal Opera in Copenhagen in 1883. He traveled widely, meeting and working with Pasdeloup, Saint-Saëns, Sarasate, and even cultivating a friendship with Wagner. Sadly, his marriage had deteriorated to a point where his wife jealously flung the completed manuscript of a third symphony into a fire in 1882. Whether this was a catalyst or not, Svendsen's creativity severely tapered off at this point. He remarried in 1901. His international reputation continued until illness forced him to cease performing in 1908.

In his music, Svendsen prolifically composed in all idioms. With his bent toward classical forms, he forms a yin and yang of Norwegian Romantic music with the more overtly national Grieg. Yet there is a Nordic inflection present in the language, much as Tchaikovsky's Russian-ism shows through in his selected Western models. As such, he may rightly be placed in the august line of composers of the Nordic symphonic tradition.


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Johan Halvorsen

Johan Halvorsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. He was born in Drammen in Norway and he showed great talent at playing the violin at an early age. He received his musical education in Kristiania (now Oslo) and Stockholm and became concertmaster in Bergen before he joined the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He became professor of music in Helsinki and continued his studies in St. Petersburg, Leipzig, Berlin and Liège.  In 1893 he returned to Norway and worked as conductor of the theatre orchestra at The National Scene in Bergen and of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.  In 1899 he was appointed conductor of the orchestra at the newly opened National Theatre in Kristiania, a position he held until his retirement in...
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Johan Halvorsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. He was born in Drammen in Norway and he showed great talent at playing the violin at an early age. He received his musical education in Kristiania (now Oslo) and Stockholm and became concertmaster in Bergen before he joined the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He became professor of music in Helsinki and continued his studies in St. Petersburg, Leipzig, Berlin and Liège. In 1893 he returned to Norway and worked as conductor of the theatre orchestra at The National Scene in Bergen and of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1899 he was appointed conductor of the orchestra at the newly opened National Theatre in Kristiania, a position he held until his retirement in 1929. Halvorsen conducted performances of over 30 operas and wrote the incidental music for more than 30 plays. Following his retirement from the theatre he had time to concentrate on composition, completing three symphonies and two well-known Norwegian rhapsodies.
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Press

Jacobs lives up to both pieces, impresses with tonal beauty and a light lyrical sound, but anyone who has heard the rapid, spectacular interpretation of the Nielsen concert beforehand will hardly be able to suppress a yawn. As pleasant-sounding, deeply romantic pieces, both still have their charm.
Klassik.com, 23-1-2020

Lisa Jacobs is a really fine player.
Music Web, 30-9-2019

The Dutch violinist has a gorgeous sound, particularly high up on her 1683 Rugeri. That proves wondrous in the dreaming whimsy that characterises Part I but Jacobs is not short of gritty argument in the cadenzas either.
The Strad, 22-7-2019

Lisa Jacobs plays with firm tone and admirable technical control in these live performances, and I’m particularly taken with the dark sound she draws from the low register of her 1683 Rugieri.
Gramophone, 19-7-2019

Jacobs effortlessly captivates her listeners for 40 minutes with Nielsen.
Luister, 17-5-2019

With this release, Lisa Jacobs explores Scandinavian music. Carl Nielsen’s violin concerto is illuminated with very rich colors. The Halvorsen and Svendsen performances are no less atmospheric. The orchestra from Bremen is very supportive.
Pizzicato, 28-4-2019

The visual sounds and the strong connection with nature play an important role with Composer Carl Nielsen. Lisa plays this technically challenging piece with sometimes rough sounds in this live setting.
Mania, 05-4-2019

Lisa Jacobs recorded the incomprehensible violin concerto by Carl Nielsen: "I see this piece as a quest"
De Volkskrant, 04-4-2019

"Sorceress" Lisa Jacobs is among the best!
De Gelderlander, 03-4-2019

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