Sunday, 3 February 2013

Tianwa Yang

I need another recording of Mendelssohn's violin concerto like I need a few extra kilos of weight. But I bought the new Naxos offering because the violinist was Tianwa Yang, a young violinist who has always impressed me. In an interview on the Naxos site, Yang claims that she learned her violin technique in China, and her musicianship in Europe. Interestingly, she claims that the recordings by Jascha Heifetz were a significant influence on her appreciation of the Mendelssohn concerto and I think it shows: the work flows without the violent braking and swooning that disfigure so many modern performances, and the andante, in particular, sounds like a true andante, as it did under Heifetz's bow. Yang's distinctive slender tone and fluent bow arm help give a welcome freshness and youthfulness to this unpretenious music that, in the hands of some performers, is grossly inflated. Not here.

The CD also contains Mendelssohn's youthful D minor concerto, and the early F minor sonata for violin and piano. 66 minutes of highly enjoyable violin playing; Tianwa Yang knows all about playing piano and pianissimo when required. Her technique, it goes without saying, sees off the technical aspects of Mendelssohn without problems, but it is her musicianship that impresses mightily with this CD. We live in a wonderful age for hearing first class young violinists.

No comments: