, July 2012
Mixing Bach and Jazz is nothing new but this violin album still catches my ear. The only Bach here is the Partita No.3 in E Major BWV1006 for solo violin. Before we come to the Jazz part we have the more traditional encore pieces including Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No.9, Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance from Swan Lake, Ysaÿe’s Mazurka, Sarasate’s Introduction et Tarantella and Monti’s Csárdás. Violinist Caroline Adomeit likes to dance. And her footwork on the fingerboard is as versatile as it is intricate.
The Bach Partita begins with an introductory Preludio followed by six dance numbers. The swinging pulse is perhaps close to that of a modern Celtic fiddler but the tone is enriched with a sense of period or folk instrument of the time. Her focus is on the big picture and ‘dancing scene’ but doesn’t overlook the microdynamic range in the phrasing and detailing. The Romantic encores are even more carefree. She has a big technique that allows her to fire up the Sarasate Tarantella with flaming colors and accelerate through the fast pizzicatos with accuracy. Pianist Julian Riem demonstrates perfect partnership in this kind of expressive playing, even more so in the nomadic Csárdás.
What comes after the encores is the really pleasant surprise. Adomeit and Riem exemplify seamless collaboration in the three transcriptions of folk melodies. Adomeit not only did the transcriptions herself but also showcases her sweet singing tone in the English ballad Scarborough Fair and the Belarussian folk song Kupalinka. Her double-stop melodic lines in the latter are absolutely lyrical and touching. Toss the Feathers is a Scottish reel that cries out for a virtuoso violin and piano duet or rather duel. The fast steps are skillfully imbued with pulsating vibratos that set your heartbeat on irregular patterns.
…the three Jazz tracks are all dance-beat Jazz. Percussionist Thomas Hastreiter joined in for a moody swing in Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean A Thing and a slow four-beat waltz in Bill Withers’ Aint’ No Sunshine. But it’s in Paul Desmond’s Take Five that the riveting rhythms really kicked up my JL Audio subwoofers. And Adomeit’s violin runs are saxy. Most jazz improvisations give me that drag-on feeling but not here where they are done just right within the well-balanced classical form. The interplay between violin and piano is wittingly charming. © 2012 6moons.com Read complete review