Mieko Kanno

Monday, 13 January 2014

The violinist and head of strings at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland shares her favourite tracks

I’m a big fan of Isabelle Faust – she has an unaffected and sincere approach to music

Ensemble de Solistes/Igor Markevitch
Stravinsky L’Histoire du Soldat
I like the straightforwardness of this 1963 recording. It doesn’t try to add anything artificial. It simply presents what there is, while at the same time acting and playing out the tragedy, comedy, sweetness and dark brittleness of the story and music. The stereo effect, for example, comes across as part of the theatrical texture rather than something added to the performance.

John Snijders, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic/Celso Antunes
Richard Rijnvos NY Concerto for piano and chamber orchestra
This recording is made by the players for whom it was written, and the standard of music making is breathtaking. The concerto is bold, exuberant and elegant, and I love that the character really comes through – the performance and production have a special freshness.

Isabelle Faust, Prague Philharmonia/Jiří Bělohlávek
Dvořák Violin Concerto in A minor op.53
I’m a big fan of Isabelle Faust. I’ve listened to a lot of her playing, and have always enjoyed it – she has an unaffected and sincere approach to music. I like the way in which she colours and changes the character of the Dvořák as it unfolds – this concerto can sound dull in the hands of a less accomplished violinist.

Vienna Philharmonic/Herbert von Karajan
Bruckner Symphony no.9
I have quite a few recordings of the Bruckner symphonies, but if I had to choose one I would go for this live one from 1976. You can hear how much all the musicians care about the music. There isn’t a note or sound that’s out of context. It’s not about perfection (though it is almost perfect) but about a sense of involvement in the music from every musician.

Mieko Kanno, Sam Hayden
Sam Hayden Schismatics for electric violin and live electronics
I’m interested in exploring the new sounds that we can create with today’s technology and instruments. The work is like a snow-covered landscape in the sun – the live violin sound is multiplied, splintered, transformed and mixed together while retaining the character of the instrument.

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