Nicola Benedetti 班娜德蒂
自2005起，班娜德蒂便开始参与CLIC Sargent ﹝萨金特儿童癌症及白血病关怀组织﹞的拉琴马拉松计划。2010年，班娜德蒂加入委内瑞拉国立青少年管弦乐团系统﹝El Sistema﹞的姊妹组织─苏格兰Sistema，参与「Big Noise」乐团计划，指导乐团的小乐手。同时，作为计划的委员及合作艺术家，班娜德蒂经常於苏格兰举行大师班、又於2011年前往南美举行大师班。
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Daniel Harding
Composer: Szymanowski, Karol [Composer], Saint-Saëns, Camille [Composer], Chausson, et al.
Audio CD (April 4, 2006)
Number of Discs: 1
editor rating 3 Stars
release date May 9, 2005
[-] by Uncle Dave Lewis
Once again, a major classical label, in this case Deutsche Grammophon, has brought us a pretty, young face peering out from behind her violin. Nicola Benedetti is a teen, Scottish, and won the BBC's Young Musician of the Year competition in 2004. Before that, she also won first prize on a TV game show called Britain's Brilliant Prodigies. So Benedetti is a known quantity in the U.K., and Deutsche Grammophon, now a British company despite the name, was banking that even if her artistry didn't manage to travel that the local response to her recording debut, Nicola Benedetti Plays Szymanowski, Chausson, Saint-Saëns, would justify the money put into it. It did, and in May 2006, this debut finally hit the stands in the U.S., a little behind the release of Benedetti's second disc in Europe.
It is heartening that Benedetti has chosen Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35, as the centerpiece of her maiden voyage on disc, as opposed to the usual Tchaikovsky or Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1. It is a work that most often appears along with its sister, Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 61; here Benedetti awards this connoisseur piece pride of placement. The filler material consists of standard violin encores of the kind that usually populate debut albums by young violinists, with one notable exception: a new work by composer John Tavener, Fragment for the Virgin, written expressly for Benedetti. It is a decent piece even though it feels a tad short, and is the most interesting thing on this disc. Another novel feature thrown in as a bonus is a track of Massenet's Meditation from "Thaïs without the soloist, so that listeners might be able to perform the piece themselves utilizing sheet music that can be downloaded and printed from Benedetti's website.
John Tavener has stated that Benedetti is "reminiscent of the young Menuhin," and if this is true, it would make sense, as she is a product of the Yehudi Menuhin School and even played the maestro's funeral in 1999. One hates to differ with the opinion of an esteemed composer, but the young Menuhin was rugged, flexible, and emotional, whereas Benedetti is lithe, lean, and a little coolly detached -- more like the young Jascha Heifetz. This is also in keeping with the way violin is taught in the West these days, steeped in the Heifetz aura of tonal perfectionism. Nicola Benedetti Plays Szymanowski, Chausson, Saint-Saëns has occasional sparks of inspiration, but does not set one's soul on fire. Part of it is the recording, which is exceptionally clear but quiet and fails to spotlight the soloist in the mix; Benedetti is often equal to, or placed a little below, the level of the orchestra. Conductor Daniel Harding, partnering with the London Symphony Orchestra, works hard to get the Szymanowski off the ground, but seems disinterested in the rest -- overall, it is a rather boring album, although Nicola Benedetti certainly looks good in her photographs. Perhaps the next disc will be better.
1. Szymanowski - Vivace assai 12:37
2. Szymanowski - Vivace scherzando 8:53
3. Szymanowski - Cadenza (Allegro moderato) 5:29
4. Saint-Saens - Havanaise in E for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 38 10:18
5. Chausson - Poeme for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 25 16:47
6. Massenet - Meditation from Thais 5:37
7. Brahms - Contemplation (Wie melodien zieht es mir) 3:20
8. Tavener - Fragment for the Virgin (world premiere recording) 4:30
9. Massenet - Meditation from Thais (performance track) 5:50