Completely immersed in the timbres of a Polish masterpiece, Dutch violin virtuoso Janine Jansen has brought Karol Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto in Munich vividly to life.
Point of view
Working with an artist like Janine means we will face something unexpected. You cannot really say: this is the way it will go, she will search and search and search for something new
She was accompanied by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of music director Valery Gergiev.
One of the world’s greatest violinists, Jansen enjoys pushing the boundaries of her wide-ranging repertoire.
“I love the sound world of Szymanowski. It’s a pleasure to play it and to find all these different colours,” she told Musica.
“It’s really the whole tension from beginning to end. I mean there are some beautiful, intimate moments where one just wants to linger in the sound.”
The First Violin Concerto modern masterpiece, composed in-war torn Europe in 1916, takes some of its inspiration from French impressionism.
Szymanowski is considered a true pioneer of modern Polish music in the 20th century.
“Szymanowski was destined to be one of the, let’s say, grandsons of Chopin. He knows how to write a melody. In the 20th century it’s a big compliment,” said conductor Valery Gergiev.
“The timbre, the beauty of sonorities in the orchestra and coming from the solo violin are outstanding.”
Jansen told Musica: “I enjoy it so much when I stand there and listening to this amazing sound wave that comes.
“Music has such a powerful language. I mean I think more powerful for me than words so it’s so nice to share that.”
Gergiev says that you will face something “unexpected” when working with an artist like Janine Jansen.
“You cannot really say: this is the way it will go, she will search and search and search for something new,” he said.
“I very much respect musicians who go beyond well known territory and well known choices.”
A recent encounter with a precious Stradivarius from 1707 has been a deeply life-changing experience for the globe-trotting Jansen.
“When I met this violin, it was like a new inspiration, every piece that I also revisit on this violin is like new inspirations, new ideas. I completely refined my voice, my thoughts about the pieces,” she said.
“Maybe it is even comparable to what we talked about in Szymanowski, this sound world and this amazing possibility of colours,” Jansen continued.
“When I hold it I feel more secure you know somehow I feel this is my voice.
“I feel I met my partner.”
Janine Jansen has recorded for her latest CD two landmark concertos: Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto and Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No.1. – accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Antonio Pappano.