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Naxos Starts New Series Dedicated to 19th Century Violin Music

By Jonathan Frohnen

As lead consultant for this series, Jonathan Frohnen is an expert on 19th century violin music, and an exclusive consultant to Naxos. In addition to being an authority on this subject, Jonathan works with musicians and librarians around the world to locate sheet music for Naxos to record. He is especially passionate about the music of Charles de Beriot, Henri Vieuxtemps, and Hubert Leonard and has a library of early editions to prove it! Above all, Jonathan is dedicated to locating and recording long forgotten music for the enjoyment of all.

Naxos is proud to announce a new series dedicated to 19th century Violin music. This series will introduce music lovers to a vast world of forgotten music composed exclusively by 19th century violinists. In one way or another every violinist/composer in this series has contributed to making violin music what it is today. Our goal with this series is to make sure that this music is never again forgotten, and that the grand art of 19th century violin playing lives on forever.

This series starts off with a bang as we release three recordings of music composed by the Belgian violinist Charles Auguste de Beriot (1802-1870). It is worth noting that the Belgian violin school starts with de Beriot, the teacher of Henri Vieuxtemps. Both violinist/composers are followed closely by Cesar Thomson, Pierre Martin Marsick, and most notable today, Eugene Ysaye. Unfortunately de Beriot is known today only in the teaching studio for his 7th and 9th concertos.

In our first album, Grammy-nominated violinist Philippe Quint reveals de Beriot as more than a composer of student works. Accompanied by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Philippe has recorded the 2nd (The Russian Concerto), the 3rd, and 5th concertos. We hope that the brilliance displayed by Philippe along with the beautiful melodies composed by de Beriot will preserve the composer's name as not only a violinist of remarkable skill but as a composer of works worthy of the modern concert stage. This album marks the first CD recording of the 2nd and 5th concertos, while the 3rd concerto presented here is a world premiere release.

The second album in this series is the first volume in our effort to record the complete solo works of de Beriot. Peter Sheppard Skaerved presents an album of brilliant solo works that were composed late in de Beriot's life. Selected for this recording, are the op.109 '12 Scenes ou Caprices'; 9 Caprices extracted from the finishing school op.102, and the posthumous Prelude ou Improvisation. While op.109 demonstrates de Beriot's imaginative writing, the Prelude ou Improvisation demonstrates his complete mastery of the violin. All of these solo works are making their world premieres on this album.

Finally, our third release of de Beriot works is dedicated to duos for two violins. For this recording we have chosen to offer the op.57 '3 Duos Concertantes'; and the world premiere recording of the op.113 'Airs Espagnols'. While the pieces in op.57 are on a grand scale and represent some of the best writing for two violins, the pieces in op.113 are a little on the lighter side and show de Beriot's playful side. The violinists for this album are Peter Sheppard Skaerved and Christine Sohn.


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group