BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto. Cadenzas by Alfred Schnittke. Gidon Kremer, Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner. Newton Classics

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Beethoven Violin Concerto Cadenzas By Sir Neville Marriner Newton Classics

BEETHOVEN

Violin Concerto

Cadenzas by Alfred Schnittke

Gidon Kremer - violin

Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner

One of the great violinists of our age in the Everest of violin concertos is in itself an enticing prospect. That’s further enhanced here by an unlikely but stimulating meeting of minds in which Kremer links Beethoven to one of the great composers of our own age.

As a long-standing friend and musical partner of Alfred Schnittke – together they played on the recording of Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa that brought the Estonian composer to international attention – Gidon Kremer asked him for cadenzas that would, naturally, go beyond the Romantic tropes of Joachim and Kreisler beloved of most violinists.

Schnittke did not disappoint, with material – not just the main first-movement cadenza but lead-ins at appropriate points in the finale – that take Beethoven’s material – as any cadenza should – and reflect it through a more modern, fragmentary prism, in which the whole literature of violin concertos is wittily referenced and obliquely reflected.

His cadenzas, and Kremer’s ever-committed playing, make a striking example of what Schnittke called his ‘polystylism’, demonstrating his belief in the essential unity of musical thought through all the changes in style across the centuries.

Newton Classics 8802064

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