. . . [Korngold]: Scotland's superstar violinist Nicola Benedetti is an unabashed champion of the composer and his work . . .
Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti is all about making people fall in love with violin music.
Hugely articulate and with a passion for music education it's clear she's a musician with a soapbox. The Scot's performance at the Last Night Of The Proms . . . was the perfect end to London's summer in the international spotlight and the perfect start to Benedetti's latest album's success . . .
. . . Benedetti decorates this repertoire with gleaming high-register pirouettes, plus vibrato throbs and hesitations that never descend into schmaltz. Such good taste is a pleasure . . . In Korngold's concerto she glides dexterously along the golden melodies . . . [Nigel Hess's theme from "Ladies in Lavender"]: tender and succulent . . .
The lush, romantic sound of Hollywood ¿ 1930s to the present ¿ suits her well . . . It helps that in the photo shoot for the disc she looks like a starlet too.
. . . [Korngold: Violin Concerto]: her performance is beautifully honed with a particularly atmospheric account of the central Andante . . . she has an instinctive grasp of the ebb and flow of Korngold's melodic lines and avoids the obvious temptation of becoming overtly mannered in order to intensify the musical expression . . . Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony provide urgent and expressive support, especially relishing the Finale's good-natured humour and deliberately off-kilter harmonies . . . there's little doubt that Benedetti plays all the music with warmth and tenderness, and there are some worthwhile discoveries, not least the dark-hued Andante from Shostakovich's music for "The Counterplan". The inclusion of the Mahler Piano Quartet . . . is also welcome demonstrating Benedetti's prowess as a fine chamber musician . . .
. . . Benedetti need not fear comparison with the likes of Shaham, Mutter and Laurent Korcia, for her broadly romantic approach and genuine affection for this Hollywood-inspired concerto shine out. She is ably supported by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits, who negotiate such a tricky passage as the last movement's cross-rhythms . . . with the utmost assurance . . . Benedetti is joined by star accordionist Ksenija Sidorova in a show-stopping performance which will have you on your feet! The warm acoustic of the Decca recording comes in appropriate widescreen sound.
Nicola Benedetti, with her seductive, shining tone and easy melodic fluency, and of course her formidable virtuosity, is at home in all this music. The [Korngold] concerto is a fine blend of energy, firm structural control and sheer beauty, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits in close attendance . . . gentle, rich in vibrato, with phrases lovingly caressed. Much of the music has a gentle melancholy to it, and a direct line to the tear ducts, which Benedetti bandies with loving sensitivity . . . The recorded sound is warm and full.
She achieves an ice-crystal tone and captures the moody atmosphere of the middle movement, and also masters the demands of the galloping finale . . . ["The Ladies in Lavender"] features a soaring tune and shows a brief but welcome return to Benedetti's virtuosic side.
. . . [Korngold / Violin Concerto]: Nicola Benedetti, the score's most recent champion, runs in a sensible mainstream account that should delight her admirers.
The brilliant Scottish violinist dazzles . . .
. . . a talented and versatile violinist . . . [Korngold]: Benedetti's primary strength in the first two movements of the concerto is her smooth legato tone that suits those gorgeous melodies well. Benedetti correctly recognizes the powerfully original, almost hypnotic effect of the initial open chord and triton . . . she is generally excellent. Kirill Karabits is a solid accompanist . . . Everything is presented with the utmost clarity . . . Korngoldians will likely be quickly onboard . . . "Schindler's List" and the Shostakovich pieces work best . . . This is an interesting and well-conceived album. Benedetti's Korngold ranks near the top . . .
The Scottish violinist's dazzling take on music of the silver screen proves a durable favourite.
Benedetti and Kirill Karabits don't try to gild the lily, and allow the music to unfold naturally . . . She engages in an impassioned duet with violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky in Carlos Gardel's Tango, "Por una cabeza" , from the movie "Scent of a Woman" and gives an expressive performance of Shostakovich's elegant Romance from "The Gadfly" . . . [Korngold: Violin Concerto]: she allows the piece to go soft . . . [she emphasizes] the piece's lyrical elements . . . She invests Nigel Hess's theme of "Ladies in Lavender" . . . with a poignant charm matched in appeal by the lyricism and intensity she brings to Shostakovich's Andante from "The Counterplan" . . . [Mahler: Piano Quartet]: [a] sensitive and atmospheric performance . . .