January 23, 2017

BBC Music Magazine praises Fantasies, Rhapsodies, and Daydreams

“Recorded in glowing sound that feels astonishingly lifelike… this recital is something of a triumph for violinist Arabella Steinbacher.”

Arabella Steinbacher’s latest album, “Fantasies, Rhapsodies, Daydreams” recorded with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Lawrence Foster received a glowing review on BBC Music Magazine. From the high jinks and outrageous showmanship of Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasie and Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, to the fearsome technical demands of Ravel’s Tzigane and the exquisite refinement of Saint-Saëns’ Havanaise and Introduction et Rondo capriccioso, this album harks back to an earlier era of violin playing. Read a glimpse of the review below.

Recorded in glowing sound that feels astonishingly lifelike, especially in SACD surround, this recital is something of a triumph for violinist Arabella Steinbacher. Waxman’s Fantasy on themes from Bizet’s Carmen (composed originally for Jascha Heifetz) is finger-crippingly difficult, and it can also sound thoroughly unseductive in the wrong hands. By indulging the more lyrical passages with lashings of golden tone, Steinbacher makes it sound like a near-masterpiece.

Saint-Saëns’s two old warhorses likewise sound respledent, the Introduction and Rondo capricciosso particularly so, with its pedal-pointed double-stopping and heart warming cadencing into F major. Even Massenet’s Méditation emerges sounding freshly minted, so achingly supple is steinbacher’s phrasing.

Saving perhaps the best till last, Ravel’s Tzigane, whose opening extended cadenza simmers seductively in a twilight world ravishingly free of bar-lines and pyrotechnical display.

by Julian Haylock

Read the complete review on BBC Music Magazine January 2017

Photo by Dennis Swiatkowski