Christian Li; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
Discovering Mendelssohn (CD)
A new album from Australian-Chinese violinist Christian Li. Having topped the Australian Classical Charts with his debut album in 2021 (with which he became the youngest artist ever to record Vivaldi’s Four Seasons) the award-winning musician releases his second album, Discovering Mendelssohn.
Here, Christian Li follows the journeys of Felix Mendelssohn – whose music was influenced by travel throughout his life – by recording pieces the composer wrote in Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Munich, London and Venice, including some brand new arrangements written especially for the violinist. It also includes a significant collaboration with Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang, and a signature piece for Christian, Mozart’s Violin Sonata K.304.
At the heart of the album is Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under Sir Andrew Davis, to stunning effect. Talking about the unique cadenza in the first movement Li explains, “I wanted to try and follow what is in the score … I also tried to create mysterious atmospheres, experimenting with dynamic and contour and pacing, to make it sound interesting and more like an improvisation.” Whether it is the intense drama heard in the racing close of the first movement or thoughtfulness in the final Allegretto, there is sensitivity between soloist and ensemble.
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
On Wings of Song, Op. 34 No. 2 (arr. Parkin)
Rondo capriccioso, Op. 14 (arr. Yampolsky)
Serenade, D. 957 No. 4 (arr. Elman)
Spring Song, Op. 62 No. 6 (arr. Kross)
Venetian Gondola Song, Op. 62 No. 5 (arr. Parkin)
J.S. BACH: Erbarme dich (arr. Parkin)
MOZART: Violin Sonata, K. 304
Christian Li, violin
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Laurence Matheson, piano
James Baillieu, piano
Xuefei Yang, guitar