Dvorak and Khachaturian Violin Concertos
Traditional folk music elevated to high art: that theme binds the unique coupling of Billboard chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pines latest release of the Violin Concertos by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak and Soviet-Armenian Aram Khachaturian. The multi-faceted young American Teddy Abrams conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, making for a truly international collaboration. There are few more interesting violinists on the worldwide scene than Rachel Barton Pine; she is continuously giving us interesting and well-researched and thought-out concept albums that stimulate the imagination, reinvigorate the ears, and put wrinkles in the brain with their intellectual depth.
Chart-topping, international violin soloist Rachel Barton Pine, joined by multi-faceted conductor Teddy Abrams and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, releases Dvořák and Khachaturian Violin Concertos, on AVIE on November 1. The album, featuring Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53 and Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor, highlights each composer’s prominent use of his own traditional ethnic music.
Explains Pine, “The thing that really connects the Dvořák and Khachaturian concertos is that both composers were really inspired by the ethnic music of their particular region of the world: Czech composer Antonín Dvořák by Czech folk music from his homeland, while the Soviet-Armenian Khachaturian drew upon the harmonies, rhythms, and colorful affects of Armenian folk music and other music of the Caucasus. It’s not so much that one needs to specifically study Armenian folk music or Czechoslovakian folk music in order to bring that element to these concertos, it’s more tuning into how their presence is dancing throughout the works.”
Adds Abrams, “It’s a very natural way of accessing this music. Quite often, popular music infiltrates our mind and becomes part of our musical identity. It certainly was the case with those two composers as both concertos showcase a folk influence in pretty prominent ways. You can derive almost every section of the Khachaturian from some element of Armenian folk and Dvořák, of course, was constantly influenced by Bohemian Czech folk music.”
Pine first fell in love with Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53 and Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor when she learned them at age 15, and she has performed them each regularly ever since.
“These are two concertos that I know so well and have lived with for a long time. I’m so grateful that the brilliant conductor Teddy Abrams and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra joined me on this recording. Teddy truly enhanced what I was doing interpretationally, and the RNSO was not only playing wonderfully, but really feeling it. The music-making was so lovely and vibrant,” says Pine.
Dvořák and Khachaturian Violin Concertos marks Pine’s 39th recording and fifth album on AVIE records (AV 2375). Pine’s previous four AVIE albums, Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner; Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices and other works for solo violin; Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Elgar & Bruch Violin Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton all debuted on the classical charts.