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Janine Jansen: Violin Concertos by Beethoven & Britten

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Internationally released by Decca in late September, the album features violin soloist Janine Jansen and two different orchestras providing two very different interpretations for the concerts. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen performs the Beethoven compositions, and the London Symphony Orchestra renders the Britten Concerto, with Conductor Paavo Järvi directing both. The performance highlights the harmony between soloist and orchestra; on each of the concertos, Jansen's violin performance is supported and enhanced by the orchestra, featuring subtle transitions and changes of harmony wrought by both Beethoven and Britten.

Janine Jansen's performances are known for fresh interpretations of staple pieces, along with her creative renditions of lesser-known works. "Whenever a violin repertory piece needs revitalizing," according to the Times of London, "there’s one simple solution. Hire Janine Jansen to play it."

Jansen first played the Beethoven concerto at a very young age, and she was initially intimidated by it. But, she says, with age and experience comes the ability to perform it with an understanding of its depth. "I was so over-awed it felt like the longest forty-five minutes of my life," she says, "but with time and greater maturity, I have discovered so much depth in this remarkable music." She said performing with Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in the spring of 2009 was a career highlight for her.

The Britten concerto is relatively rarely performed, but Janine Jansen considers it one of the finest pieces in its genre. Since her first performance of it ten years ago, she says she has fallen in love with it and tries to program it whenever she can. A technical challenge for both soloist and orchestra, the concerto is expressive and intense, with a strong underlying tension. The coda, with its prayerlike beginning, swells to a wail of despair, with Britten eloquently expressing the emotions of the time of Spanish Civil War.

Janine Jansen will tour the U.S. the first week of October with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Homepage: Janine Jansen
Homepage: Decca Records

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