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Rachel Barton Pine presents a thoroughly enjoyable album of Dvorak - Khachaturian concertos, worthy of more attention / THE REHEARSAL STUDIO

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At the beginning of this month, Avie Records released its latest album featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine. The album is devoted to two concertos, both of which get less attention than they deserve. These are presented in chronological order, beginning with Antonín Dvořák's Opus 53 concerto in A minor, which always seems to lurk in the shadows behind the far more popular Opus 104 cello concerto in B minor. This is followed by the violin concerto composed by Aram Khachaturian, who, ironically, was born one year before the year of Dvořák's death (1904). This was actually a moderately popular concerto during my student days in Cambridge, Massachusetts; but that may have been due to the strong Armenian community in neighboring Watertown.

On this album Pine performs with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Teddy Abrams. Abrams was born in Berkeley and began studying with Michael Tilson Thomas in San Francisco at the age of twelve. He dropped out of the public school system prior to middle school but received a Bachelor's degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at the age of eighteen, after which he studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music. My first listening encounter came when he conducted the annual program of music by Ludwig van Beethoven for the Summer and the Symphony San Francisco Symphony series in July of 2013. He is currently Music Director and Conductor for the Britt Music & Arts Festival Orchestra.

Taken as a whole, this is a thoroughly enjoyable album, which is likely to enjoy future listening encounters while I wait for opportunities to listen to both of these concertos in concert performances!