An impressive debut from a young violin hotshot

Luka Faulisi: Aria

The Strad Issue: March 2023

Description: An impressive debut from a young violin hotshot

Musicians: Luka Faulisi (violin) Itamar Golan (piano)

Works: Waxman: Carmen Fantasy. Tchaikovsky: Lensky’s Aria from ‘Eugene Onegin’ (arr. Auer). Wieniawski: Fantasia on Themes from Gounod’s ‘Faust’. Szymanowski: Roxana’s Song from ‘King Roger’ (arr. Kochanski). Verdi: Themes from ‘La traviata’ (arr. Faulisi). Zimbalist: Concert Phantasy on ‘The Golden Cockerel’

Catalogue number: SONY CLASSICAL 196589613196

For his debut recording, Aria, violinist Luka Faulisi has eschewed standard repertoire in favour of a collection of works linked to opera. He shows a fine lyrical sensibility throughout, and a healthy gift for showmanship. In Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy, after a somewhat mannered Habanera he plays in the best bravura style, never missing an opportunity for portamento or dynamic flourishes and dashing off the increasing technical demands with style. In Leopold Auer’s arrangement of Lensky’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin he produces nervy, neurotic expression. He is splendid in the opening cadenza of Wieniawski’s Fantasia on Themes from Gounod’s ‘Faust’, which is supple and dashing, even if his technique slips a little later on, with shaky intonation in octaves and a descending saltando scale amid Mephisto’s fiendish outpouring which loses its bounce halfway down.

Faulisi plays Kochanski’s arrangement of ‘Roxana’s Song’ from Szymanowski’s King Roger with slow-burning sensitivity which flowers into passion; and he showcases his own arrangements of four numbers from Verdi’s La traviata, beginning with a coquettish Brindisi and later despatches the technical high jinks with flair. In Zimbalist’s Rimsky-Korsakov Concert Phantasy suave lyricism balances virtuoso pizzazz. Itamar Golan provides sensitive support throughout, and the recording is close and clear.



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