Homage

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bazzini,de Falla,Dinicu,Elgar,Moszkowski,Ravel,Scott,Sibelius,Wieniawski
LABELS: Onyx
ALBUM TITLE: Homage
WORKS: Works by Bazzini, De Falla, Elgar, Scott, Dinicu, Ravel, Wieniawski, Sibelius, Moszkowski etc
PERFORMER: James Ehnes (violin and viola), Eduard Laurel (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: Onyx 4038

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Another triumphant release from James Ehnes, who not only dispatches a programme of favourite violin and viola encores with a fizzing charm and charismatic bravado to rival even Itzhak Perlman, he does so on no fewer than 12 different instruments from the world‑famous Fulton collection. In his extensive and highly informative booklet notes, Ehnes outlines the background to these instruments, ranging from six Strads (one of which has been Ehnes’s regular instrument for the last eight years), to four by various members of the Guarneri family, a Bertolotti (aka Gaspara da Salò) and a Guadagnini.

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Not only can one savour the distinctive characteristics of the instruments on each track, but Ehnes also plays a brief extract from Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Berlioz’s Harold in Italy on each of the nine violins and three violas respectively so that one can make direct comparisons. The icing on the cake is provided by the DVD, which shows how Ehnes achieves miracles at close hand, including his unconventional left-hand thumb extension and relatively firm bow-hold. Beautifully photographed, consummately played and beguilingly engineered, this is a must for all music lovers.
Julian Haylock