Deliciously supple playing from soloist and orchestra in a composer tribute

Jinjoo Cho: Saint-Saëns


The Strad Issue: February 2022

Description: Deliciously supple playing from soloist and orchestra in a composer tribute

Musicians: Jinjoo Cho (violin) Appassionato/Mathieu Herzog

Works: Saint-Saëns: Introduction & Rondo capriccioso op.28; Havanaise op.83; Violin Concertos no.1 in A major op.20, no.3 in B minor op.61; Romance in C major op.48; Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix (Samson et Dalila)

Catalogue number: NAÏVE V7422

‘Sensuous, evocative and exquisite’ is how Jinjoo Cho describes the music of Saint-Saëns in the sleeve notes to this studio-recorded effort from the warm acoustic of Paris’s La Seine Musicale, and the same could equally be said about her readings of these virtuosic works, of which the concertos and Introduction and Rondo capriccioso were dedicated to Spanish virtuoso violinist and composer Pablo Sarasate. The latter piece is a delectable curtain-raiser for the silkily slinking delicacy with which Cho spins its opening phrases; then equally as her fluidly virtuosic technique serves up a combination of silvery, gossamer-weighted, high-register acrobatics, and sultrily smouldering lower-register bite.

Another stand-out is the lilting central movement of Concerto no.3 for Cho’s sweet-toned lyricism and easy serenity. So it’s no surprise when she then so completely and stirringly assumes the mantle of the rapturous human voice for Herzog’s deftly coloured transcription of Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix – expressed to supremely tender, lyrical and attentive orchestral support.

Indeed, Appassionato is also sounding fabulous, bringing its own fire and soft romance via a sumptuously rich and polished strings sound (wonderful lower-register depth), and all manner of opera-flavoured drama and colour, the woodwind often an especial pleasure. In a word, superb.


Watch Jinjoo Cho perform Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix

Watch Jinjoo Cho perform Introduction & Rondo capriccioso