Sonoko (Bruch, Vaughan Williams, Barber)

Miriam Welde

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Sonoko is the debut album on Lawo Classics by violinist Sonoko Miriam Welde. On the album she performs the music of Bruch, Vaughan Williams and Barber with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Tabita Berglund and Joshua Weilerstein. It has been selected as Album of the Week at Classic FM.

Sonoko tells us “When you ask people which superpower they would choose if they could have only one, many answer that they would want the power of flight. Although I personally would prefer invisibility, there is something enviable about the freedom of being able to fly, to soar through the sky, above all the stress and troubles of life down on the ground. A lot has been said and written about how Vaughan Williams wrote The Lark Ascending during the 1st World War “when a pastoral scene of a singing bird on the wing seemed far removed from reality” (Betsy Schwarm, Britannica). I sometimes imagine people living through difficult times looking up at the lark, envying its life and freedom that they wish they had. It’s a moving piece with soaring melodies and the lark’s “silver chain of sound” (George Meredith’s poem The Lark Ascending).

Soaring melodies are present in Barber’s Concerto as well. Although it opens with a generous and warm melody, it doesn’t take long for uncertainty to creep in, and large sections of the 1st movement are dominated by an “in-between” kind of feeling – in addition to the unbelievably triumphant and satisfying return of the opening theme of course! The 2nd movement is, for me, one of the most touching and heartbreaking pieces of music. It reminds me of Somewhere from West Side Story. Hope, pain, and longing for something better. It is just endlessly beautiful… The first two movements of the concerto are emotionally and dramatically linked in that they both have short solo violin cadenzas towards the end. The two are similar to each other – very tense and devastating, like an existential cry. They are followed by a bizarre, disturbing, entertaining, and adrenaline-inducing 3rd movement to end the piece. In a way it makes no sense to end this way, but that’s part of the fun of it.

Bruch’s Violin Concerto is a piece with its heart on its sleeve. The 1st movement is a very serious and dramatic introduction, the 2nd incredibly touching and sincere, and the 3rd so joyous and life affirming. This piece has accompanied me in many important and special moments in my life so far and I am so happy that it is with me in this one as well – my debut album with the Oslo Philharmonic, a fantastic group of musicians that I have loved and admired for many years!”

Sonoko Miriam Welde, Violin
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Tabita Berglund, Conductor
Joshua Weilerstein, Conductor

Tracklist

1.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 I. Prelude: Allegro moderato
08:01
2.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 II. Adagio
08:56
3.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 III. Finale: Allegro energico
07:23
4.
The Lark Ascending
14:27
5.
Violin Concerto, Op. 14 I. Allegro
10:36
6.
Violin Concerto, Op. 14 II. Andante
08:26
7.
Violin Concerto, Op. 14 III. Presto in moto perpetuo
03:57

Total time: 01:01:46

Additional information

Label

SKU

LWC1222

Qualities

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Artists

Composers

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Financial Support

This album has been made possible with financial support from Arts Council Norway and The Audio and Visual Fund GC Rieber Fondene

Mastering Engineer

Thomas Wolden

Original Recording Format

Producer

Jorn Pedersen

Recording Engineer

Thomas Walden

Recording Location

Oslo Concert Hall on February 14-15, 2019 (Barber) and October 26-28, 2020 (Bruch, Vaughan Williams)

Release Date November 19, 2021

Press reviews

NativeDSD Senior Reviewer

Superb, especially the Vaughan WIlliams and the Barber!

Classic FM

Classic FM’s Album of the Week

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