Six of the best recordings by violinist James Ehnes
Canadian violinist James Ehnes's finest recordings of violin and viola works by Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Walton and Bartók on disc
James Ehnes has joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the studio a number of times, first in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (ONYX4167) and again in Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending, which our critic Malcolm Hayes described as displaying a ‘strong, forthright and unaffected delivery’ (ONYX4212).
Ehnes has also picked up the viola for a handful of recordings. He experimented with both the violin and viola on Homage, a CD/DVD in which he explored one of the world’s finest instrument collections, testing out works by Elgar, Ravel, Falla and Sibelius. He later took on Walton’s mighty Viola Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (CHSA5210).
Having recorded Bartók’s Violin and Viola Concertos (CHAN10690), Ehnes continued his journey with the composer in three volumes of chamber works performed with pianist Andrew Armstrong. The pair then embarked on Beethoven’s sonatas, which began with Nos 6 & 9 (ONYX4170) and have concluded with Nos 7 & 10 (ONYX4209).
Ehnes has also recorded premieres of concertos by Aaron Jay Kernis and James Newton Howard, which were, as reviews editor Michael Beek wrote, ‘aimed squarely at his dazzling skillset’ (ONYX4189).
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.