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Gypsy

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 26, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Lara St. John often displays her anatomy on her CD covers, but she has more to offer than that. In this entertaining collection, she plays freely and on a very large scale, just what gypsy music requires. It may not take much intellect to play Waxman's Carmen Fantasy (I like Sarasate's better, anyway). But it does take intellect, and lots more, to play Bartók's Second Rhapsody as convincingly as she does here, with the very assertive collaboration of Ilan Rechtman. St. John doesn't make the difficulties of Ravel and Sarasate sound easy, but both musicians play with such flair it doesn't matter. Rechtman's gypsy arrangements are goofy and enjoyable. Wide-range sound. --Leslie Gerber

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 'Carmen' Fantasie
  2. Variations On Dark Eyes (Occhi Chornye)
  3. Second Rhapsody
  4. La Gitana
  5. Zigeunerweisen
  6. Gypsy Nocturne
  7. Tzigane
  8. Czardas Caprice


Product Details

  • Performer: Ilan Rechtman, Lara St. John
  • Composer: Ilan Rechtman, Bela Bartok, Fritz Kreisler, Maurice Ravel, Pablo de Sarasate, et al.
  • Audio CD (August 26, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Well-Tempered Productions
  • ASIN: B000003Y37
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,600 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Its fair to say that violinist Lara St. John projects a public image that can be described as provocative, daring, uninhibited and free-spirited (forget the open top here - check out the bold leather blazer, confident hand on hip, daring look in her eyes and violin at the ready). While such an attitude may not be to the taste of all, it would seem ideally suited for bringing out the drama and passion of Gypsy-inspired music - a genre of music definately not for the timid or academic-at-heart.

Indeed such music is far from the formal restraints of Bach which this Canadian violinist first made her mark. But judging from the tantilizing result here, Miss St. John's personna and talents are a great match for this music. Also a factor must have been her frequent trips in her youth to the epicenters of this tradition - Russia, Yugoslavia and Hungary - which perhaps awakened the Gypsy-within. Regardless, she is stellar in this Gypsy repertoire on this CD - as is her musical partner, Israeli pianist Ilan Rechtman.

While more-aquainted with music from Bach to Brahms, I was not too familar with the music of this genre before hearing this CD - so I had no idea what to expect. And I also cannot say how her readings here compare to X, Y or Z. But, I have to say most every piece on the CD caught my interest and admiration and jazzed me. While Miss St. John is the cover star of this recording, pianist Rechtman is equally engaging from the piano. I was impressed with his clear sense of direction and non-intrusive flair in the music - and especially his three original arrangements (the Gypsy Nocturne being particularly poetic and moving).

St.
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Comment 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on March 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD left me speechless. I have never, ever heard the Bizet Carmen Fantasy played with such excitement, passion and virtuosity before. It makes Maxim Vengerov's recording of it look trivial. Somehow, Lara St. John manages to play like a gypsy. Here's what I reccomend: Ignore the cover;her music is worth it. Bravo, Lara St. John! I would like to hear her playing the Bartok Rumanian Dances next!
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Format: Audio CD
Gypsy

How cool is that? The champion of the 2008 USA Olympic Team, gold medal winning gymnast Nastia Liukin used this CD, the song 'Variations on Dark Eyes,' as her floor routine music. Arranged by the pianist on this recording, Ilan Rechtman. Fabulous!
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Format: Audio CD
I a world filled with outstanding violinists, it is often a daunting prospect to find one who truly rises up and demands recognition. Lara is one such artist, and this recording will show you why. Recorded using high-definition technology, one can truly appreciate the virtuosity and compelling interpretation of works from Bartok and Waxman (among others). Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic record, a legendary record, and you have to hear it for yourself. Nowhere before Lara St. John have I heard such passion, such dazzling technique, and such depth of interpretation in these pieces. Nobody else - Perlman, Rosand, Sarah Chang -- even comes close. This is a performer that is a born Gypsy, a born entertainer, and, at the same time, a truly profound musician.
On this record, she is joined by Ilan Rechtman, who is a well-matched accomplice, and a super-witty arranger.
I love this record!
Comment 10 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is no doubt that Lara St. John demonstrated her incredible talent and violin genius in this album. In doing so however, the improvs to show technique in some instances overshadowed the melody. Some portions of the famous traditional Occhi Chornye (Dark Eyes) were barely recognizable. If you would like to be impressed by violin virtuoso technique, this is the album for you. If you'd like to enjoy piano and violin gypsy combo however, I recommend Sergei Trofanov's "Gypsy Passion". Start with Tzigane Russe and I guarantee you'll hear piano and violin techniques which are awesome and yet, maintain the integrity of the composition for the true Gypsy violin lovers. _Raoul Watson
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Format: Audio CD
The violinist on this album is just out of this world. What an artist!!! Her technic is amazing, her musicality is breath-taking, her spirit is just one of a kind. Together with her pianist and arranger Ilaan Rechtman, they have created one of my very favorite CDs. I never get tired of the music. It is both easy to listen and yet, deep and most interesting. I highly recommend this to every type of a listener. My favorite track is Carmen Fantasy. It makes all the other Carmen renditions I've heard totally pale in comparison. Don't miss this great album.
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Format: Audio CD
What a great album and what a stupid album cover! I love the music, the pianist and violinist are so talented....the music they play on the CD is awsome. They could have done a better cover though, I think that it totally does not agree with the content and takes away from it's greatness. I noticed though that all of Lara's Cd covers [are bad], which is too bad.
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