An ancient melody sparks a lively response
The Strad Issue: September 2022
Description: An ancient melody sparks a lively response
Musicians: Sebastian Bohren (violin) CHAARTS Chamber Artists, Stringendo Zürich/Jens Lohmann
Works: Music by Kreisler, Vitali, Paradis, Corelli, Respighi and Tartini
Catalogue number: AVIE AV2513
This violin and string orchestra programme from Sebastian Bohren, formerly of the Stradivari Quartet, has multiple influences: the enduringly popular La folia theme; the violinists who favoured Romantic transcriptions of Baroque repertoire; and love of playing a great instrument, which for Bohren right now is a 1761 Guadagnini. It’s been a real labour of love, too, because, having recorded the whole with CHAARTS Chamber Artists, he felt moved to re-record Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro, Vitali’s G minor Chaconne and Paradis’s Sicilienne, with Stringendo Zürich.
Review: Sebastian Bohren: Mozart
Read: Swiss Violin Making School Foundation awards Golden Bow to Sebastian Bohren
Review: Pleyel: Violin Concerto in D major; Symphony in F major. Vanhal: Symphony in G major
The results are palpably imbued with love, with attentive, lucid-textured support from both ensembles. I sense the violin’s sustained tonal intensity isn’t just down to the Guadagnini’s notable brightness, but also to the consistency of Bohren’s own sound. Strikingly, for Respighi’s Pastorale he reverts to the softer-toned 1710 ‘King George’ Strad he played with the Stradivari Quartet, yet he retains a similar degree of intensity. Ultimately this is perhaps an album more for cherry-picking than for listening right through.
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