Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos - Batiashvili; Staatskapelle Berlin / Barenboim

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About this CD


Staatskapelle Berlin

Barenboim, Daniel

Batiashvili, Lisa

Deutsche Grammophon

Release Date:
4th November 2016

Catalogue Number:

Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos – Batiashvili; Staatskapelle Berlin / Barenboim


For my final MMM review I would like to highlight an excellent recording of Tchaikovksy and Sibelius  violin concertos performed by the brilliant Lisa Batiashvili and Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim.  The prerequisite for choosing a disc to review has always been that we must love the disc and it is usually obvious from the first few moments whether or not it makes the grade. The coupling of these two great works is at once an attractive proposition and Batiashvili plays with such earnest and precision but above all with an inherent understanding of the score it is hard not to be caught up in the beauty of this recording. Batiashvili is praised by Barenboim by not becoming overwhelmed with sentimentality; ‘There are few violinists with good taste. Many play their instrument very well, but they adopt an exaggeratedly emotional approach….and they have no idea of the work’s structure….The architecture of a piece must be filled with emotional ideas and the emotions have to be given a sense of structure. Only then can it become music.’ It is easy to see why it was chosen as Gramophone’s Disc of the Month in January. Their reviewer sums up; ‘Everything feels ‘in the moment’, a quality of improvisation like music created in the playing of it. Her musicality always comes with an element of surprise…This is concerto-playing of the very highest order…Every familiar phrase somehow manages to sound both authoritative and newly discovered…a delight from start to finish’. Yet, like most recordings, it is the unquantifiable qualities that make recordings like this one shine.  I feel privileged to have spent 14 years (10 at MMM in between children!) working in CD shops and to have had the opportunity to listen to countless discs of such variety and excellence that have enhanced not only my musical knowledge but my understanding of all things.

Reviewed by: Dawn Gibson

Media / Summary

Label's Recording Summary:

Lisa Batiashvili and Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim’s baton present an unforgettable version of Tchaikovsky’ and Sibelius’ violin concertos, two of the most beloved, passionate and demanding pieces for violin and orchestra

This album celebrates a happy and consolidated collaboration of one of the finest violinists of our times with one of the best orchestras of the world and the legendary pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim

Ten years ago Daniel Barenboim initiated Berlin’s open-air “State Opera for All” concert on the historic Bebelplatz. With more than 40,000 spectators each year, it attracts a larger audience than any other classical concert in Germany. In each of the last four years the guest soloist has been Lisa Batiashvili, who on each occasion has performed one of the world’s great violin concertos: Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky in 2015 and in this year Sibelius

“I absolutely love Sibelius’ violin concerto. I have the feeling it’s really a part of my life and of my musical story, because so many things happened around this concerto in my life. The first most important was the final of the Sibelius Competition in 1995 where I performed this concerto for the first time with the orchestra.” – Lisa Batiashvili

As the youngest-ever participant of the Sibelius Competition, Lisa immediately managed to win the second prize – a jump-start to a lightning career

As Lisa recalls, her musical partnership with Daniel Barenboim started over the phone: “Barenboim heard me for the first time during a television broadcast of the Sibelius Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Shortly afterwards he rang me up to congratulate me and ask me if we could perform the piece together.”

“I feel that this time with Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin, we brought a lot of new insights to it in some ways, even though the ground feeling for me for the piece will always stay the same.” – Lisa Batiashvili This version of the Sibelius Concerto brings back a fresh approach to the famous score, by being as true and faithful to the score as possible, and by avoiding all the known and repeated traditional playing conventions and habits.

This album is the first ever recording of Tchaikovsky’s famous and romantic violin concerto for both, Lisa Batiashvili and Daniel Barenboim. “It was a big surprise to me to hear that he had never recorded Tchaikovsky and it makes it even more special for me. I have the feeling that we really worked on it very closely, because that was my strongest experience with that piece – just to work it with him…”

The Guardian stated about Lisa’s performance with Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin at the Royal Festival Hall in 2015: “Lisa Batiashvili was the ferocious soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, intense in the first movement, luminous and heartfelt in the second, scintillating in the quickfire finale. It was a faultless performance, enthralling and electrifying.”

Works Featured:
Disc Name:
: Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 :
: Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 :

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