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
0289 479 6038 6

. . . outstanding performances . . . [Barenboim] provides effortlessly supportive accompaniment that moves in perfect sync with every turn that Batiashvili takes . . .[Tchaikovsky]: the way that Barenboim shapes the first phrase from the orchestral violins, delicate and tender, is just exquisite. This rapt, hushed approach to the music is echoed by Batiashvili . . . when she plays the first movement's main melody after a brief initial cadenza, it's ever so slightly slower than one normally hears, less robust perhaps and more rhapsodic, almost wistfully dream-like. It's such a beautiful moment, and truly brings out the poetry of the piece . . . There's an enormous amount of freedom and elasticity of phrasing and tempo, but it's always incredibly subtle, and it makes the world of difference . . . Barenboim gets a wonderful range of sounds from his players, bright and bold one minute, dark and husky the next. Batiashvili certainly also has plenty of chances to dazzle us with some pyrotechnics: the main cadenza in the first movement has some very impressive double-stopping and harmonics, and virtuosity abounds in the tremendously exciting last movement . . . [Batiashvili gives a commanding interpretation of the Sibelius Violin Concerto,] but at no point does it ever feel stale . . . the very opening of the piece is as extraordinary as I've ever heard it: remarkably eerie and yet hopeful at the same time. The way she spins a phrase is quite something, momentarily withholding vibrato to highlight the bleakness of an unexpected sharpened fourth, and then injecting just the right amount of warmth a few seconds later. It's most enchanting and sets the tone for a stunning performance. These are both unbelievably impressive accounts of two cornerstones of the repertoire, and it's been a delight to listen to them.

Naming the soloist on the last concerto recording you heard is probably easy. But can you name the orchestra? On this disc, there's no danger of forgetting that it's Daniel Barenboim's Berlin Staatskapelle; the quality of the orchestral playing, the warmth and depth of tone are constant reminders . . . [Tchaikovsky]: [Batiashvili is] a dreamy-sounding, inward soloist at the start, shaping the melodies with care yet propelling them forward -- this mammoth work has rarely seemed so concise. The Sibelius soars and sings in the first movement, and dances in the finale with a rare agility. As for Barenboim, he gives the orchestral parts the depth and scope of symphonies: the climax of the first movement of the Sibelius will knock you flat.

. . . [Batiashvili and Barenboim] sound fine here, especially in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky . . . Barenboim and his splendid orchestra -- arguably better these days than the Berlin Phil -- accompany attentively, and DG's recording is first class. Giving a music lover for Christmas Barenboim the pianist and Barenboim the conductor, will bring much joy. This CD testifies yet again to Barenboim's accomplishment and versatility.

. . . stunning performances of two staples of the repertory . . . Her technical perfection and glorious tone are always apparent, and she is given sterling support from the fine orchestra and conductor Daniel Barenboim . . . Audio is excellent and perfectly balanced.

Few violinists today play with Batiashvili's combination of remarkable technique, tone quality, maturity, and expressiveness . . . DG has given us near-definitive recordings of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius violin concertos . . . [the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto] comes up fresh and consistently engrossing in this new recording. Batiashvili has no trouble with any of the formidable technical issues, nor does she try to do anything radical in the way of interpretation. The finest artists, one might note, seldom change tempos, dynamics or phrasing in strange ways; rather, they get to the heart of what the composer intended with an accurate rendition of the score. A case in point is the solo section between the two big orchestral tuttis in the first movement. Batiashvili finds a light-hearted dance quality in the music that I had never noticed before. It is charming and sounds absolutely right . . . [Barenboim] insists on accuracy, beauty of tone, and careful attention to balances from his musicians. The result is a classic interpretation of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Similarly, in the Sibelius Violin Concerto, these artists are not interested in showing off, but rather, in getting to the heart of the music, which they do, as few performers have done before them. One feels confident that Batiashvili will not only hit all the right notes, but also that she will respect the composer's wishes. Although necessary, accuracy and a faithful reading of the score alone can be deadly dull. Batiashvili is never dull. Her tone is pure, but inflected with subtle variations that render the music consistently expressive. She also knows how to build climaxes with carefully modulated increases in volume. In Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin, she has a conductor and orchestra willing and able to provide the most sensitive accompaniment imaginable, as well as enormously powerful orchestral climaxes when required. Great sound from the DG engineers. Like the Tchaikovsky -- a classic performance.

. . . un programme très séduisant dont la haute valeur dérive directement de la connaissance qu'on les interprètes des partitions, de leur complicité . . . C'est surtout dans un premier temps, à la suite d'une écoute première, le Concerto de Sibelius qui affirme une saisissante compréhension musicale. D'abord le Concerto de Tchaikovsky . . . Belle urgence du premier mouvement où l'orchestre de la Staatskapelle de Berlin, l'orchestre de Barenboim, sonne avec une élégance de ton d'une irrésistible séduction: le préambule est idéal pour l'éloquence feutrée de la sublime Lisa (Batiashvili), violoniste attachante . . . ondine serpentant dans un paysage orchestral superbement suggestif: la direction du chef éblouit par sa réserve caressante et détaillée . . . [Batiashvili's articulation d'une grande finesse exprime une] élégance lovée dans l'orchestration de Tchaikovsky . . . Si le Concerto de Tchaikovsky affirme une virtuosité flamboyante, l'opus de Sibelius s'inscrit dans l'énigme et le scintillement d'une enivrante fragilité. Le premier mouvement est d'une bouleversante confession elle aussi filigranée qui exige des instrumentistes, soliste et musiciens de l'orchestre en présence, un sens de l'écoute et de l'équilibre global, . . . idéal, magicien. Le son de Lisa Batiashvili se révèle d'une rare incandescence, immédiatement solaire . . . Nous tenons là l'une des meilleures versions récentes du Concerto de Sibelius: scintillements de l'orchestre, chant intérieur, déchirant du violon soliste. Magistral.

[Sibelius]: La violoniste témoigne ici d'une richesse de phrasés uniques, et dans l'immense premier mouvement articule chaque phrase sans oublier la grande forme ni la nécessité de varier les couleurs. Barenboim lui offre un orchestre sombre, qui rappelle le noir des couches rocheuses de la région d'Helsinki. Le Tchaikovski demeure dans la même veine, une absence de brillance absolument virtuose, pour un maximum de sensibilité. Une vraie réussite . . .

Lisa Batiashvili, très engagée, exacerbe la vivacité des tempos, réussit les articulations savantes voulues par les deux créateurs qu'elle défend en produisant de très belles couleurs et en affrontant idéalement les tensions exigées par eux. La Staatskapelle Berlin superbement et précisément conduite par Daniel Barenboim atteint des sommets interprétatifs . . . ils lui dressent un écrin orchestral idéal pour servir son timbre chaud et précieux, pour amplifier ses lignes mélodiques franches et ses élans rythmiques sensuels et implacables. Un enregistrement hautement recommandable.

  • Lisa Batiashvili & Daniel Barenboim - Tchaikovsky/Sibelius: Violin Concertos (Trailer)

    Lisa Batiashvili and Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim’s baton present an unforgettable version of Tchaikovsky’ and Sibelius’ violin concertos, two of the most beloved, passionate and demanding pieces for violin and orchestra.


      1. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
        Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Major, Op. 35, TH 59
        1. 1.
          1. Allegro moderato
        2. 2.
          2. Canzonetta. Andante
        3. 3.
          3. Finale. Allegro vivacissimo
      2. Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
        Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Minor, Op. 47
        1. 4.
          1. Allegro moderato - Molto moderato e tranquillo - Allegro molto - Moderato assai - Allegro moderato
        2. 5.
          2. Adagio di molto
        3. 6.
          3. Allegro ma non tanto
          Lisa Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim
    Playing Time 01:10:10