ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Chlo‘
PERFORMER: Chloë Hanslip (violin); LSO/Paul Mann
CATALOGUE NO: 8573-88655-2
Your wardrobe, web site, booklet photos, promotional video, TV documentary and priceless instrument are all set. What next? – Make your record. That’s the usual dilemma facing teenage talents lucky enough to be embraced (or exploited?) by major labels in today’s topsy-turvy, youth-oriented musical world.
Warner has done 13-year-old violinist Chloë Hanslip no favours here. In music, as in much else, less is so often more, and performances (however imperfect) of a few serious repertoire works might have served her better. Something has gone very wrong, surely, if Mozart and Mendelssohn (what about Spohr, Wieniawski or Vieuxtemps?) have ceased to be ‘hip’!
Hanslip studies under Zakhar Bron, mentor of Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin. She already possesses a remarkable technique, but an understandably ‘learned’ and immature style. Warner insist she’s no ‘crossover’ artist, but nevertheless urged her to include ‘pops’ like John Williams’s Schindler’s List theme, in spite of which she’s made a creditable initial foray on to disc in several of these attention-grabbing fireworks. But her lack of experience also shows. There’s some questionable intonation during multiple-stopped passagework and a rather ragged cadenza in Tchaikovsky’s Waltz-Scherzo, while simpering affectation swamps the reflective Bloch, Bruch and Glazunov works. The brightly lit recording places Hanslip unrealistically forward, thanks to fatherly knob-twiddling in the control room. Michael Jameson