Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Saint-Sa‘ns, Shostakovich, John Williams, Vaughan Williams & Ravel

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: John Williams,Khachaturian,Saint-Sa‘ns,Shostakovich,Tchaikovsky,Vaughan Williams & Ravel
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Janine Jansen
WORKS: Works by Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Saint-Saëns, Shostakovich, John Williams, Vaughan Williams & Ravel
PERFORMER: Janine Jansen (violin); RPO/Barry Wordsworth
CATALOGUE NO: 475 011-2
Janine Jansen, the latest hot young fiddler on the block (25 years old) and already a major star in her native Holland, is one of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists. At the time of writing she is due to make her first appearance at the Proms.

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Her Decca debut of eight shortish works demonstrates what a complete musician she is, without placing any undue musical demands on the listener. She opens (or rather the RPO does, with a sforzando crash that made me jump out of my skin) with two comparative rarities – the ‘Danse russe’, one of the ‘supplementary numbers’ from Act III of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and the ‘Nocturne’ from Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite. Here, as throughout, Wordsworth and the RPO supply some pleasurable detail (try the end of the Saint-Saëns Rondo capriccioso) and a sumptuously recorded cushioned support of which Jansen takes full advantage.

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The two film themes, from Shostakovich’s The Gadfly and John Williams’s Schindler’s List, are sweetly done, as is the placing of Ravel’s Tzigane after Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. The former might enjoy more bite and abandon in Vengerov’s hands, but Jansen is never less than a dramatic colourist and gifted communicator. Here is a truly musical virtuoso with a dazzling technique, individual character and the warmest of lyrical tones.