Classical

VOICES Notes and news on Classical releases

A Grand Introduction

01 AUG 08 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER

On Introducing Shannon Lee, Canadian-born teenage violinist Shannon Lee makes her Telarc debut with a disc of virtuoso and lyrical showpieces by 19th and early 20th century composers and violinists such as Wieniawski, Kreisler, Ernst and Bazzini.

Arranging music written for other instruments or voice has proven irresistible to musicians from cellists to marimba players to virtuoso violinists. Stars such as Jascha Heifetz and Nathan Milstein, for example, used to transcribe their favorite tunes and write their own short virtuosic works.

Lee, who plays with poise, maturity, technical finesse and a rich tone, conquers the technical challenges of Wieniawski's "Scherzo-Tarantelle" and Kreisler's unaccompanied "Recitativo and Scherzo (composed for the legendary Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe) with aplomb. Transcriptions including Heifetz's version of Debussy's "Beau soir" and Milstein's arrangement of Chopin's "Nocturne in C-sharp minor" offer her a chance to highlight her gifts for spinning out long singing lines on her instrument.

The disc, which also includes popular encores such as Elgar's lush "Salut d'amour" and Rimsky-Korsakov's whirlwind "Flight of the Bumble Bee," ends with Bazzini's finger-twisting "Dance of the Goblins." The most substantial work included here is Brahms' "Sonatensatz." The pianist Pamela Mia Paul provides sensitive accompaniment throughout.