Berlioz: Works for Orchestra (Live) James Ehnes, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Andrew Davis
- Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869):
- 1Intrata di Rob-Roy MacGregor, H 5413:24
- 2Rêverie et Caprice, Op. 8, H 88 (Live)08:16
- Harold en Italie, Op. 16, H 68:
- 3I. Harold aux montagnes. Scènes de mélancolie, de bonheur et de joie (Live)15:27
- 4II. Marche de pèlerins chantant la prière du soir (Live)07:49
- 5III. Sérénade d’un montagnard des Abruzzes à sa maîtresse (Live)06:26
- 6IV. Orgie de brigands. Souvenirs des scènes précédentes (Live)12:34
Info for Berlioz: Works for Orchestra (Live)
The nine-time Juno-winning Canadian James Ehnes is centre stage in a new recording of orchestral works by Berlioz, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. This recording was made following an extraordinary concert in November 2014 with the same forces, in which James Ehnes played two instruments made by Stradivarius, respectively a viola in the solo part of Harold en Italie – ‘symphony with a principal viola part’, in Berlioz’s words – and a violin in the solo of Rêverie et Caprice, both of which works feature here.
Berlioz was never ashamed to recycle his music from one work to another, especially when the earlier work had been rejected by the public or by the composer himself. In 1834, Paganini asked Berlioz for a work in which he could display his prowess on a fine Stradivarius viola. Berlioz then composed the four-movement symphony Harold en Italie, incorporating passages from the Rob-Roy overture which he had recently rejected.
Similarly, Rêverie et Caprice was the form eventually given to an aria from the opera Benvenuto Cellini, unceremoniously booed in Paris in 1838. Berlioz transformed the aria into a piece with solo violin three years later. It is the only piece Berlioz ever wrote for solo violin.
“Berlioz’s unorthodox yet idiomatic string writing is beautifully handled by James Ehnes Helped by the astoundingly vivid quality of the SACD recording, Andrew Davis brings out countless details of Berlioz’s always unpredictable orchestration, with the Melbourne SO” (Carlos María Solare, The Strad)
“… Davis and his production team have worked hard to keep James Ehnes’s quite ravishingly beautiful playing in focus. The Melbourners play this still testing score well for their Chief Conductor…” (Mike Ashman, Gramophone)
James Ehnes, violin
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Davis, conductor
Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, violinist James Ehnes has performed in over 35 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors.
In the 2016-2017 season James continues his cross-Canada recital tour in celebration of his 40th birthday, performs the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas in Stresa, Montreux, Los Angeles, Liverpool, and Amsterdam, and joins the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on a tour of China and the National Arts Centre Orchestra on a tour of Eastern Canada. James also holds artist residencies with the Melbourne Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Scotia Festival, undertakes two tours with the Ehnes Quartet, and leads the winter and summer festivals of the Seattle Chamber Music Society, where he is the Artistic Director.
New and upcoming CD releases include a disc of works by Debussy, Respighi, Elgar and Sibelius as well as a recording of Beethoven’s Sonatas Nos. 6 and 9 with pianist Andrew Armstrong, the Sibelius and Schubert “Death and the Maiden” quartets with the Ehnes Quartet, and the complete works of Beethoven for violin and orchestra with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Andrew Manze. His recordings have been honored with many international awards and prizes, including a GRAMMY, a Gramophone, and 11 JUNO Awards.
James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He began violin studies at the age of four, and at age nine became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and from 1993 to 1997 at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation. Mr. Ehnes first gained national recognition in 1987 as winner of the Grand Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Competition. The following year he won the First Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Festival, the youngest musician ever to do so. At age 13, he made his major orchestral solo debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the first-ever Ivan Galamian Memorial Award, the Canada Council for the Arts’ Virginia Parker Prize, and a 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant. James has received honorary doctorates from Brandon University and the University of British Columbia and in 2007 he became the youngest person ever elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada. In 2010 the Governor General of Canada appointed James a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2013 he was named an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, limited to a select group of 300 living distinguished musicians.
James Ehnes plays the "Marsick" Stradivarius of 1715. He currently lives in Bradenton, Florida with his family.