It is coming up to five years since Sarah Chang, then in her early teens, made her brilliant and moving concerto recording debut in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on EMI (12/93). Her concerto recordings for the label since then have been of brilliant showpiece works like the Lalo Symphonie espagnole (5/96) and the Paganini First Concerto (1/95) rather than of the central repertory. It is good here to have her remarkable artistry revealed again at full stretch in astonishingly mature interpretations of the Mendelssohn and Sibelius concertos.
Here at last is the definitive Ravi Shankar Collection - ten discs covering 40 years of the master's recordings for EMI. This set includes collaborations with such luminaries as Ali Akbar Khan, Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and a host of other musicians both east and west. Besides the ten discs, there is a 27 page booklet (English, German, French) and exclusive access to a website with additional audio and video content. If you are familiar with Ravi Shankar, there is little I can say beyond the fact that the discs are exquisitely mastered, generously full, and contain a tremendous wealth of performances from an incomparable career. And If you have not yet heard the music of Ravi Shankar - one of the greatest improvisational musicians of this, or any other age - this is your opportunity to enter into a musical experience that goes beyond hearing, beyond words, resonating deep into the depths of the infinite soul.
“Now I know there is a God in heaven!”, exclaimed Albert Einstein when he heard the young Yehudi Menuhin play the violin. Not only was Menuhin an extraordinary musician, he lived through – and helped to shape – a momentous period in history. The Warner Classics catalog contains 70 years’ worth of his recordings and this 3-CD collection, Yehudi: The Art of Menuhin, provides a fascinating perspective on his achievements: Menuhin was a man of ideals who changed the world through music.