Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Romance No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra; Romance No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Cala
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Romance No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra; Romance No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra
PERFORMER: Stephanie Chase (violin); Hanover Band/Roy Goodman
CATALOGUE NO: CACD 1013 DDD
Stephanie Chase has a great sense of style, a matchless technique and flawless intonation. She is recorded, very sensibly, as if she were the leader, ie not with a microphone ‘in her throat’, as it were. The two Romances, both written in the 1790s, are delightful ‘encore’ works. Roy Goodman provides sturdy accompaniments with one of England’s most famous period orchestras.

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The record states that these are in fact the first recordings with period instruments, and they are a very good calling card for Beethoven in this guise. The solo violin is a mid-18th-century Tyrolean instrument, strung with plain and silver-wound gut and played without a chin-rest; the bow is in the so-called ‘transitional style’ which Paganini was using as late as 1830. The sound of the Blackheath Hall (where the recording was made) is very warm and attractive. There has been serious scholarly preparation of the score, and the CD notes are good. Stephanie Chase’s cadenzas, partly using earlier material, are a great improvement on what we usually hear. Warmly recommended. HC Robbins Landon