I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman

Two Souls from Mikhail Simonyan

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Aram Khachaturian: Concerto for Violin
Samuel Barber: Concerto for Violin, Op. 15
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Mikhail Simonyan, violin
London Symphony Orchestra/Kristjan Järvi
Deutsche Grammophon 4779827 DDD

Mikhail Simonyan

Barber and Khatchaturian paired

Odd couplings of repertoire are not uncommon, especially with violinists (think of Hilary Hahn), and to our great pleasure young Mikhail Simonyan, too, newly signed by Deutsche Grammophon, comes out with the unusual pairing of Aram Khachaturian and Samuel Barber. “Two Souls”, as his debut concerto recording is dubbed, refers to Simonyan’s Armenian and American sides. Born in Novosibirsk in 1985 to mixed Armenian and Russian parentage, he spent his teens in the U.S. Playing the violin since he was five, he was already a multiple competition and prize winner before completing his studies at the Philadelphia Curtis Institute with Victor Danchenko, himself a pupil of none less than David Oistrakh’s. The choice of the Khachaturian Violin Concerto was in this respect not just an homage to his Armenian roots but also to the great Oistrakh who premiered the work. Interestingly, although worlds apart in style and spirit, both concertos are practically contemporary – 1939-1940.
Read the full review on Classical Net

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