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Poème

5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 3, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Julia Fischer follows her extraordinary Grammy-nominated recording of the Paganini Caprices with a contrasting album - a lyrical and poetic set of impressionistic works for violin and orchestra. Comprising four substantial pieces, this unique program is headed by Suk's virtuosic 'Fantasy', a mini-concerto that is now justifiably finding its way into the concert repertoire. It is accompanied by two well-known tone poems - the elegant 'PoŠme' by Chausson and the English pastoral 'The Lark Ascending' by Vaughan Williams. The album is completed by Respighi's Poema autunnale (of which there is only one other recording in the catalog), making the program truly multinational. For this recording, Julia Fischer is joined by her long-term colleague on the podium, Yakov Kreizberg, directing his own orchestra, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Julia Fischer
  • Orchestra: Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Yakov Kreizberg
  • Composer: Ernest Chausson, Ottorino Respighi, Josef Suk, Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Audio CD (May 3, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B004NA3M1W
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This ravishingly romantic program should win Julia Fischer even more fans as she continues her move from the relatively small circulation of her early label, Pentatone, to Decca. The repertoire has been astutely chosen, mixing two chestnuts -- the Chausson Poeme and The Lark Ascending of Vaughan Williams -- with two obscure works by Suk and Respighi. But this isn't 69 min. of swooning background music. After stating its dreamy melody in double-stops, the Respighi Poeme autumnale picks up speed and becomes a showpiece. I wouldn't call it inspired. Violinists are always looking to expand their fairly limited concerto repertoire, and yet there is only one other version of this work in the catalog, according to the product description. that may be because Respighi's idiom hews fairly close to movie music, but there's enough atmosphere to keep the ear engaged, especially when you have a soloist, like the impeccable Ms.Fischer, determined to bring out the best in the score.

Josef Suk was both composer and violinist, and his Fantasy Op. 24 fits the instrument better, falling directly in line with the folk-flavored romanticism exploited by Goldmakr, Joahcim, and Dvorak in their concertos. I've never been able to decide if Suk would be considered a prominent composer if his countryman Dvorak had never lived. the Fantasy is by turns lyrical, robust, and sparkling, but the orchestral accompaniment doesn't reveal themes or development of any great moment. There's enough sweep to keep your attention form wandering; the work is ambitious and fairly long (24 min.), but Suk winds up giving us a string of episodes more than an organically unfolding concerto. I doubt, despite the product description, that it will gain more than a toehold in the concert hall, but it's worth a listen.
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The four poems for violin and orchestra recorded here by the (still)young star violinist Julia Fischer can be considered as belonging to the beginning of the XXth century (only Chausson's Poem was written in 1896, but even so its "career" flourished in the early years of 1900). The idea of gathering these four concertante works for violin (Poema autunnale by Respighi, The Lark Ascending by Vaughan-Williams and Fantasy by Suk) on a single CD is indeed very inspired, since it offers the soloist the opportunity to show in slightly different registers her gifts for sober lyricism and late-romantic pathos, combined with the a perfectly mastered technique. All the previous displayed skills (for instance in the flamboyant recording of the 24 caprices by Paganini or the austere Bach violin concertos), all her musical sensitivity and force of conveying hidden beauties, all her inwardness and minutely controlled phrasing, seem to have deepened by years. Julia Fischer gained a profundity of vision specific to great maestros. The discrete support supplied by conductor Yakov Kreizberg at the helm of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic suits perfectly her style, although the orchestral sound seems a little bit remote and too restrained to my taste. The magnificent Guadagnini violin Julia plays on this recording contributes to the vivid and heartfelt mood of these gems, as well
Reccommended!
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By Rich on December 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This disc was recorded November 2010 and released April 2011. The conductor, Yakov Kreizberg, passed away March 2011. This was his last recording. One of the great conductors, he brought clear intent, deep conceptual understanding of the works, and impeccable timing and tempo as well as passion, fire and inspired interpetations. He knew the power of an orchestra and was not afraid to use it when the score begged it. He was not concerned with the heart condition of the old ladies in the front rows of the classical music halls. He brought life and wisdom to the music he conducted. He also played piano in the same way. Hear him play piano with Fischer on her Tchaikovsky disc on Pentatone. His Shostakovich on Pentatone is one of my favorite recordings. RIP.

Fischer's playing is typically perfect in technique, huge dark tone, mature compositions, with a smart young attitude to the music.
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Format: Audio CD
All I need to say is, PERFECTION!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!! This recording is the absolute best of these works I have ever heard, and I'm a violinist who studied all over the country and heard alot of violinists. Ms. Fischer plays these difficult works like they're twinkle twinkle. She makes them sound effortless like they should be played so the musical line can be the main focus and not the wow what great technique.
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This is arguably the best recent recording of the Chausson. Julia Fischer plays it with a rich dose of sultry darkness and fiery intensity, and the sound quality of the recording is very good as well.
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I freely admit that most post-baroque solo violin music... well, I have been known to refer to a lot of it as "cat torture." But OMG this album is ravishingly beautiful. Just listen to the opening of the Chausson and feel all the tension melt away. This is gorgeous stuff, played exquisitely. Fischer is expressive and passionate without being sloppy or overwrought. And if you, like me, are bothered by constant out-of-tune vibrato on high pitches, have no fear. The intonation is accurate from beginning to end. Julia Fischer really "gets" this music. In fact this may be the best recording of The Lark Ascending out there. Buy it. Do not hesitate.
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