Alexandre da Costa, violin
Orchestre symphonique de Bienne (Switzerland) / Thomas Rösner, conductor
Marc Pantillon, piano
John Williams (1932- ): Schindler’s List Suite for violin and orchestra
Ernst Bloch (1880-1959): Suite Hébraîque for violin and orchestra; Concerto grosso no 1 for piano and orchestra
Wholenote Discoveries - April 2009
The title work is John Williams’ suite for violin and orchestra extrapolated from the soundtrack to “Schindler’s List”. Both that and Bloch’s “Suite Hébraïque” feature the outstanding young Canadian violinist Alexandre da Costa who is in fine form here. But the highlight for me is the performance of Bloch’s Concerto Grosso under the direction Thomas Rösner who captures the rustic energy of the dance movements and brings a driving force to the fugal finale without sacrificing any of the inherent stateliness of the work. And in this instance I can tell you the name of the pianist, Marc Pantillon.
Of Williams’ approximately seventy film scores, the soundtrack for Schindler’s
List is considered one of his masterpieces. Compositionally, Williams departed
from his usual swashbuckling style for a more classical sounding score. The
effect is that of subtlety and nuance in a score rich with hauntingly beautiful
melodies. Williams chose to feature the violin as the principal voice in large part
because of its associations to Jewish music and since, “the violin itself remains
an instrument of enormous expressive power.”
To complement Williams Schindler’s List suite, Alexandre da Costa has chosen
Ernst Bloch’s Suite Hébraîque. Rounding out the program, Swiss pianist Marc
Pantillon joins the Bienne orchestra for Bloch’s Concerto grosso #1.
Alexandre da Costa’s previous ATMA disc was one of ATMA’s two top-selling
Produced, recorded and edited by Johanne Goyette at the Palais des
Congrès de Bienne, Switzerland, 19-21 March, 2008.