Every now and then a violinist emerges – Caroline Goulding is still only 16 years of age – who not only has much of interest to say and the technical means to express it, but does so through the instrument in a way that is completely instinctive and cannot be taught. Listening to Goulding in this well-chosen selection of mostly 20th-century music (the one exception being Vieuxtemps’s coruscating ‘Yankee Doodle’ Variations), one would automatically assume that one was in the presence of a seasoned artist. Checking her out on YouTube confirms that Goulding may be young in years but her playing is already stylish, commanding and self-assured.
Music on the perceived ‘lighter’ side is notoriously difficult to bring off convincingly, yet Goulding sounds as at home in a selection of Kreisler and Gershwin miniatures as the likes of Perlman and Rabin. No less accomplished are her scintillating accounts of Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprices and Schoenfield’s Four Souvenirs, superbly accompanied (as elsewhere) by Christopher O’Riley in glorious, state-of-the-art sound. Not so long ago, James Ehnes also started his major recording career with Telarc, and there is every reason to believe that with careful guidance Goulding should prove every bit as successful as her gifted Canadian colleague.