Tianwa Yang Records Mendelssohn Violin Concertos for Naxos
October 31, 2010
Between 30 August and 3 September 2010 acclaimed young Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang joined Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä conducted by Patrick Gallois at Hankasalmi church in Finland to record Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto D Minor, Violin Concerto E Minor and selected Songs Without Words for release on Naxos 8.572662.
‘When I heard Tianwa Yang for the first time playing Sarasate in the recording produced by Sean Lewis I immediately fell in love with her elegance and music. The sound of her violin was something remarkable! I knew that I would like to co-operate with her in the near future and when we began to look for a soloist for the recording of Mendelssohn’s two concertos, there was no doubt as to who it would be.
‘Before the recording session, our orchestra Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä together with Tianwa had a concert where we played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto E minor. The concert was held in Kuokkala church which was built just six months ago in our hometown Jyväskylä. The church is an architectural masterpiece, really! Full of light, just like Tianwa, too, so the concert place suited her perfectly. The audience was absolutely thrilled with Tianwa and her talent was noticed broadly at the newspapers as well.
‘On the following week after the concert, the orchestra packed itself in a bus and travelled to Hankasalmi church to make the recording together with Sean Lewis. Hankasalmi is a small, small municipality about 50 kilometres from Jyväskylä. Thus, it is needless to say that we were in the middle of nowhere. The total peace and closeness of the nature inspired all players and created a unique atmosphere. I hope that it can be heard from the result.’
— Patrick Gallois, conductor
‘The Mendelssohn E minor concerto has been one of my favourite concertos ever since I first played it when I was 8. The whole concerto is full of dialogues between the orchestra and the solo violin, it is, to me, almost a chamber music piece.
‘We also recorded the D minor concerto for violin and string orchestra (written when Mendelssohn was 13!), the 1st and 3rd movements are full of passion and fire, while the slow movement is full of fantasies and romance.
‘The recording session was one of the most enjoyable work periods I have ever had in my life. We worked very much on phrasings, dynamics and colours. It was simply inspiring and such a pleasure to work with Maestro Patrick Gallois (what a great musician), and the orchestra was so willing to try out different things e.g. bowings, vibratos, etc. We all felt like we were a big chamber music group. We enjoyed a lot of unforgettable moments.
‘I was also delighted to work with Sean Lewis again, who produced most of my Sarasate recordings. He just knows how to do a great job!’
— Tianwa Yang, violin
‘Tianwa Yang and Patrick Gallois with his Finnish chamber orchestra worked superbly together on these sessions. Such detailed music making which was a privilege to produce. Two incredibly sensitive and honest musicians, I think this will be quite special.
‘Superb concentration, as always, by this orchestra who are really keen in trying to produce something special every time.
‘Tianwa’s musical insight is incredibly mature for her age. Until now, I had only recorded Sarasate with her (the complete works for violin and orchestra). Great fun as it was, hearing her get to grips with the Mendelssohn concertos was something else. So poetic and not a trace of any violinistic quirks just for effect. The music is always in focus and there is a simple and honest beauty about the way she plays. And Patrick really knows how to accompany a musician like this, just breathing with her naturally.’
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