The Strad Issue: January 2012
Description: A dance-based recital of varied violin repertoire
Musicians: Caroline Adomeit (violin) Julian Riem (piano) Thomas Hastreiter (percussion)
Composer: Bach, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Ysaÿe, Sarasate, Monti, Kötscher/Plessow, Rodríguez, Ellington, Withers & Desmond

Bach’s Third Partita and the 13 ‘encores’ that follow display the esoteric musical tastes of the young German-based violinist Caroline Adomeit. Dance is the recurring theme as she moves from Baroque to hot-house jazz, with many of the tracks played in her own arrangements for violin and piano.

Being a stickler for period correctness, I was surprised that I soon fell totally in love with her modern approach to Bach, for her playing has an infectious joy and rhythmic vitality, and the fast sections exhibit an easy technical mastery. Passages of crossed strings are so precise, and even in the most mercurial sections her intonation is perfectly centred, that I was left with the wish that she had devoted the disc to the complete Sonatas and Partitas.

Yet I cannot deny my enjoyment of her often mischievous approach to familiar melodies as she extracts the last drop of happiness – Brahms’s ninth Hungarian Dance, especially, bounces along with impish humour. Even allowing for those tracks that show pure virtuosity, we can enjoy the pure, youthful exuberance in Sarasate’s Introduction and Tarantella.

Julian Riem is a highly pliable partner, and together with Thomas Hastreiter’s rhythm backdrop, adds to the sense of a late-night jazz venue for the last three tracks. Sound quality is in the premier league.