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Top 10 for May - For the Record review of Rachel Barton Pine's Elgar and Bruch Concertos

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Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Chicago-based violinist Rachel Barton Pine's newest album features the well-known Violin Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch, as well as Violin Concerto in B minor by Edward Elgar, written 44 years later. It is is dedicated to "the memory of a musical hero and generous friend, Sir Neville Marriner," with whom she was originally to recorded the album. Pine worked with Marriner on the scores before his death in 2016, and Marriner related to her accounts of his teacher, violinist Billy Reed. Reed was the former leader of the London Symphony Orchestra, who collaborated with Elgar on the creation of the violin concerto. The concerto was commissioned Fritz Kreisler, who premiered it in 1910. For the recording, conductor Andrew Litton conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra. While the Bruch Concerto was the first major Romantic concerto that Pine learned, the Elgar was among the last. When learning it early in her professional career, "I counted 89 highly technical spots that I had to isolate and practice separately over and over," Pine writes in the program notes. "I also can't think of any other violin concerto with Elgar's density of tempo alterations. To make sure I didn't miss them, I marked them all with a yellow highlighter, making my music look quite colorful."
PHOTO:  Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Watch Video as Pine talks about her new album, including a description of her conversations with Marriner.