Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 in   
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

James Miller
Fanfare, November 2017

Aside from a clean technique that one can take for granted, [Jennifer Koh’s] approach to the music has a certain elegance even while not disdaining rubato, and there’s also a freshness to her approach… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review




Maria Nockin
Fanfare, November 2017

On this disc, [Jennifer Koh] gives a well thought out rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major and she brings out musical colors that few artists can evoke. Color, particularly shades of lilac and purple, have an important role in the Sérénade mélancolique which deals with the composer’s unhappiness and its effects on his music. Koh turns this sad work into a deep-toned jewel with her lyrical sensibilities. In the elegant Valse-Scherzo she combines playful passages with social refinement. In the Souvenir she plays music that brings back memories of beloved locales to myriads of listeners. Listening to it conjures up images of people long gone who only exist when we bring them to mind. It’s a needed exercise. This is an unusually well-constructed recording with gorgeous playing and fine sound. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review




Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, April 2017

American violinist Jennifer Koh has a different approach for Tchaikovsky’s complete works for violin and orchestra. The technically fine interpretations change from highly touchy-feely to rather neutral. © 2017 Pizzicato



Edward Bhesania
The Strad, April 2017

For those who feel repulsed by schmaltzy Tchaikovsky performances, this disc from Jennifer Koh might prove an effective form of aversion therapy. Resisting a stereotypically ample Romantic sonority, she nevertheless manages to celebrate the richness of the composer’s melodic invention, focusing on the gift itself rather than any ostentatious wrapping.

Her mellow tone, coupled with a light portamento in the opening of the early Sérénade mélancolique, leads to a highly listenable lyrical thread, with plenty of focus on the sound itself. © 2017 The Strad Read complete review



Stephen Wright
American Record Guide, March 2017

Koh and Vedernikov play everything in published order, Opus 26 through 42, a good sequence. As you can see by the timings, Koh is in no hurry, taking six minutes longer in the same music, her style relaxed, warm, and calm, ably and sympathically accompanied by Mr Vedernikov. I could listen to her restrained and mellow tone all day long. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



John Brunning
Classic FM, January 2017

Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major is one of the most celebrated and daunting works in the violin repertoire. The subdued Sérénade mélancolique illustrates the composer’s ear for orchestral colour; the delicate Valse-Scherzo melds old-fashioned elegance with spirited playfulness; while Souvenir d’un lieu cher’s poignant, nostalgic mood gives way to a delightful finale. © 2017 Classic FM Read complete review



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, January 2017

…Koh’s playing is of rare beauty and her poise and grace under pressure, admirable. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Mark Pullinger
Gramophone, November 2016

Koh’s sound is toasty warm, a golden darkness to her lower register, with lashings of vibrato. Her reading of the Concerto is expansive. Like the river in Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood, it is grown-up, knows exactly where it’s going and is in no particular hurry to get there. It’s a comfortable reading to really wallow in. Koh’s playing is assured in the Allegro moderato, full of romantic yearning, the dynamics in the fiendish cadenza beautifully gradated. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, November 2016

…the qualities Ms. Koh shows in this work are displayed throughout the program. In a work that pays tribute to both the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, Tchaikovsky placed ravishing melodic beauty ahead of adherence to established traditions. The violinist is playing almost continually in this work, spinning more glorious, well-supported and harmonized melodies here than most famous composers ever tap into in an entire lifetime.

…lightness, freshness, and a joyous feeling of sheer beauty trumping profundity are clearly the forces at work here. © 2016 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, October 2016

Jennifer Koh is a terrific violinist.

…Koh plays them to stunning effect, her gorgeous tone radiantly effective in conveying what is always the essence of Tchaikovsky—his melodies. The Odense orchestra is not on par with the greatest bands that have played these pieces, but they are fully professional, well-drilled, and emotionally committed to the task at hand, with gracious sound allotted to each work. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, October 2016

Jennifer Koh really is an exceptional violinist.

This program contains all of Tchaikovsky’s music for solo violin and orchestra. The concerto is gorgeously played. Koh isn’t just technically polished, but she has a genuinely beautiful tone, smooth throughout the instrument’s entire range and at all dynamic levels. It retains its sweetness even when muted, as in the Canzonetta, and her double stops are so in tune and so devoid of harshness that they sound like single tones. She doesn’t “attack” the concerto, but plays with a light touch, never stinting the lyricism—but at the same time never turning sticky. …distinctive, songful, exciting, and a wholly legitimate, personal view.

Alexander Vedernikov leads the Odense Symphony with the expected expertise, but the focus remains, rightly, on Koh. She really is a star; perhaps this beautifully engineered release will serve notice. © 2016 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, October 2016

…American violinist Jennifer Koh, Alexander Vedernikov, and the Odense Symphony do a fine job executing these works, …the album makes for a rewarding listening experience.

Koh displays her technical prowess throughout, while maintaining a sensitive atmosphere. It’s a good juggling act, providing all the pyrotechnics needed and at the same time conveying the work’s slightly melancholy mood. …Ms. Koh always sustains a graceful, elegant air. Under Ms. Koh and Maestro Vedernikov, the music conveys a healthy dose of Romanticism, combining polish, athleticism, and passion in equal measure. © 2016 Classical Candor Read complete review




Infodad.com, September 2016

The Odense Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Vedernikov is supple, well-balanced and nicely attuned to Koh’s manner, resulting in the sound of a true partnership. …Koh and Vedernikov present Souvenir d’un lieu cher, and indeed all the music here, with sensitivity and style, making the CD as a whole a particularly pleasant meandering through one aspect of Tchaikovsky’s style. © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, September 2016

The outstanding American violinist Jennifer Koh…returns to the standard repertoire for her latest release, Tchaikovsky Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra, with Alexander Vedernikov conducting the Odense Symphony Orchestra. The trademark Koh intelligence and sensitivity in programming is still there…

Koh admits to possibly being more patient in the concerto after all these years, and there is certainly never any sense of rushing in what is a carefully measured and highly lyrical performance. There aren’t quite the fireworks that you’ll find in some recordings, perhaps, but that doesn’t in any way diminish the interpretation here—it’s a thoughtful, personal statement from a player with impeccable technique. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), September 2016

Tchaikovsky’s works for violin and orchestra, though few in number and written within just three years, contain the hallmarks of his language. Violinist Jennifer Koh brings them together on one album, with a conductor and orchestra with whom she developed close bonds early in her career: Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov and Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)



Stephen Smoliar
, September 2016

The ensemble for this recording is the Odense Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Vedernikov. Vedernikov was Koh’s conductor in 1992… she encountered Vedernikov when she was “on the rise;” and, for this recording, she returned to him with all of the “historical knowledge” she had accumulated since then. The result was a partnership distinguished for not only its insights but also the clarity with which those insights were expressed.

The result is that a very solid case has been made by this recording for the proposition that the immediate present always brings its own history to interpreting music of the past, meaning that, however familiar that past may be, it can always benefit from new insights. © 2016 The Rehearsal Studio Read complete review





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group