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Janine Jansen

12 Stradivari (CD)

For the first time in history, twelve of the most wonderful violins ever made by the finest violin maker of all time, Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), have travelled across the world for a ground-breaking new project with violin superstar Janine Jansen. The resulting album, 12 Stradivari, captures the individual characters of each instrument in specially-curated music accompanied by Sir Antonio Pappano at the piano.

These days Stradivari’s instruments can reach prices well over $20 million and some of the foundations and museums who own them let them out only on rare occasions. This is also why this recording is particularly special: some of these 12 Stradivari have not been played for many decades and, possibly, have never been commercially recorded before. Others belonged to legendary virtuosi including Fritz Kreisler, Nathan Milstein, Ida Haendel and Oscar Shumsky. Janine herself is widely considered to be one of the greatest violinists of our time.

The project was devised by Steven Smith, Managing Director of the world’s pre-eminent violin dealers, J & A Beare. Having worked with Stradivari instruments his entire career he wanted to bring 12 of the very best violins together to show their brilliance and also their differences. He also wanted to record for posterity their sounds in one single, unique record and approached Janine and Decca for the extraordinary challenge. Smith knew where in the world the 12 violins for this project were and who owned them. In spite of the numerous logistic challenges of aligning the schedules of all the owners and players at a time when travelling was at its most difficult, he was able to create a two-week-period when all violins could be flown to London.

TRACK LIST

1. Elgar: Sospiri, Op. 70

2.Falla: Danse Espagnole No. 1 (from La Vida Breve)

3. Kern: Yesterdays (from Roberta)

4. Kreisler: Liebesleid

5. Kreisler: Syncopation

6. Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 - Andante

7. Ravel: Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera

8. Schumann, Clara: Romances (3), Op. 22: No. 1 - Andante Molto

9. Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 73

10. Suk: Liebeslied

11. Szymanowski: La Fontaine de Aréthuse

12. Tchaikovsky: Kuda, Kuda 'Lensky's Aria' (from Eugene Onegin)

13. Tchaikovsky: Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42: Mélodie in E flat major

14. Vieuxtemps: Dèsespoir