Having begun playing a 16th-size violin at the age of two, Chloë Hanslip performed at London’s Purcell Room at four and was taken under Yehudi Menuhin’s wing at five. At seven she moved to Germany with her mother to study with Russian Zakhar Bron (who had also taught Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin) and at ten she was starting to give concerts in major European and US venues. Aged thirteen Hanslip signed a recording contract with Warner Classics. Several television appearances (for example, in a masterclass given by Vengerov), further tuition from Salvatore Accardo and Gerhard Schulz, and invitations from various illustrious artists and conductors all helped Hanslip acquire a sure footing for bringing her precocious career to maturity. She is unquestionably one of the most exciting of today’s young players, who has already made a significant contribution to recording with performances characterised by intent, emotive musicianship and the kind of technical confidence one has come to expect from the present-day virtuoso. The recordings selected here testify to her interests not only in less common repertory, but also in more established works of Romantic violin virtuosity.
Hanslip’s 2007 recording of Bazzini’s works for Naxos (epitomised by the famed La ronde des lutins) really plays to her strengths, evidencing a wonderful command of left-hand pizzicato, precise off-string staccato, and an assertive tone, even though Bazzini’s extreme technical demands can result in some instability of intonation in higher registers. The Hubay ‘Concerto Dramatique’ (which well lives up to its title!) is a work of large proportions and Hanslip’s slightly ascetic tone in this 2008 recording works well in its rich Romantic discourse. There are passages here (and elsewhere) that are a little hard and thin, but the energy which Hanslip brings to these performances is excellent and thrilling. The Waxman Fantasy (2005) shows a good understanding of the subtle themes inherent in the Wagner work on which it is based, whilst Gade’s conventional if exciting Capriccio (2001) and Bruch’s increasingly popular Concerto No. 3 (2002) bring forth from Hanslip the kind of liveliness and effervescence one would hope for in a young artist of such promising talents.
© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Milsom (A–Z of String Players, Naxos 8.558081-84)
Chloë Hanslip Interview on WRCJ-FM
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