Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Rachel Barton Pine with pianist Matthew Hagle

26 Lullabies

Cedille CDR 90000 139

An original and very personal project from one of our favourite violinists, whose versatility ranges from early music via standard classics to rediscovery of neglected composers; see our several reviews of her Cedille discs.

This began with the pleasure that Rachel and her husband found in singing lullabies to their growing infant. In an absorbing liner note in which she recalls her mother singing her to sleep in "perfect intonation".

Once an academic, curiosity never ceases, and Rachel's 'prodigious research' collected more than 150 Berceuses & Wiegenlieder for the violin from which she chose these 26 (+ 3 more from iTunes only).

A tendency to monotony for the listener had to be a certain risk; she varies her performances with half of them played with the mute.

I approached the disc with some trepidation, but found the first few delightfully soothing. I then picked up my book and read whilst also enjoying hearing some more.

Finally I took a break (reviewers often don't listen to recordings straight through) and switched to a movement of the other disc which arrived from Chicago by the same post. Nothing could have been a greater contrast than a movement of Carlos Chavez's huge, extraordinary and virtually unknown piano concerto, a powerful wake-up call ! A reminder that CD reviewing offers unlimited contrasts for eclectic music-lovers...

As a review quoted below tells, this addition to Rachel Barton Pine's discography should fill a need and give a range of pleasures, not least many lovely examples from little known composers.

For extra pleasure, see Rachel play a Brahms lullaby on YouTube...

Peter Grahame Woolf

Maria Nockin in Fanfare Magazine: What a beautiful recording this is! It fills a real need as well. A mother or father can put this recording on and relax listening to its clear and present sound while feeding and bonding with the baby. This album also gives us a chance to see how composers from different cultures and different eras handled this particular type of composition...

Tribute to Maud Powell

American Virtuosa: Tribute to Maud Powell
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
and Matthew Hagle, piano

Cedille Records CDR 90000 097 [Oct/Nov 2006; 79 mins]

Here is a unique recital, well off the beaten track or our usual esoteric interests, but entirely captivating.

Lots of nostalgia, and pieces older listeners will find they know, often in different versions (e.g. Chopin's Minute Waltz is splendid in this arrangement).

Plenty of virtuosity, but musical more than just flashy.

Pine is as fine a violinist as you are likely to come across, and she has an extensive Cedille discography. By searching you might come across Duncan Druce's review of her Baroque disc (Chicago's Cedille is a record company you are advised to get to know better!).

Only one regret; excellent as is Rachel Barton Pine's pianist partner, I should have been happier if, rather than the standard Steinway, they might have chosen a more suitable contemporary piano for this repertoire - c.f. a newly released disc of Elgar's songs accompanied on Elgar's own Broadwood piano, soon to be reviewed by Musical Pointers.

Recommended enthusiastically.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Full liner notes from the lavish booklet, with the violinist's extensive research, are on line at https://www.cedillerecords.org/097.html