Despite being centuries old, violin remains a remarkably unwieldy and a popular instrument. Every day, violinists produce great songs using this instrument. That’s why there are many violin albums that are released every year. If you are planning to buy a violin album, you definitely want to know the best albums to consider.
Here is a brief review of the best 10 violin albums:
- 1 Bach: Siciliano by Viktoria Mullova
- 2 Histoire du Tango by Augustin Hadelich
- 3 Morton Feldman by Carolin Widman
- 4 Beethoven – Violin Sonata No. 9 (‘Kreutzer’)
- 5 Glass – Violin Concerto No. 1
- 6 The Four Seasons Album
- 7 Saint-Saëns – Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
- 8 Sibelius – Violin Concerto
- 9 Ysaye – Violin Sonata No. 1, 3, 4
Viktoria Mullova has refined her violin sound over the years and transformed herself into an amazing Baroque violinist. Her album comprises of Bach Concertos that present the new Mullova. Though she applies a vibrato touch in her work, she retains her incandescent tone. The Siciliano movement from the E (BWV 1053) concerto is particularly lovely. She presents a bittersweet song that has lovely expressions in her lower register. Ottavio Dantone leads the Accademia Bizantina strings to back her with tender sighs.
This 29-year old Italian born violinist has one of the most amazing violin voices in the current generation. In this album, he pairs with Pablo Sainz Villegas, a guitarist, to bring out different emotions in the Manuel de Falla’s Canciones Populares Espanolas. The violin croons a quiet and sweet lullaby in Nana. In Polo, the violinist ignites such a passionate flame.
This album does not have windswept passages that spotlight the violin. It also does not have the traditional tug-of-war between soloist and orchestra. The album presents haunted, slow-moving, and quiet Morton Feldman’s sound world. It makes sound seem like it stands still magnificently. The music in this album unfolds in a 50 minutes canvas that comprise of color drips, dark rumblings, and floating textures.
- Carolin Widmann, Morton Feldman: Violin & Orchestra
- ECM New Series
- Audio CD
Being the emotional melting pot he was, Beethoven’s character switches in this charge sonata are even more pronounced than usual. And while he managed to deploy all these emotional colours beautifully in the main areas of his work, something about the intimacy of violin and piano here show him in his rawest light.
- Nathan Milstein, Rudolf Firkusny, Artur Balsam
- Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major "Kreutzer" / Violin Sonata...
- EMI Classics
It divides opinion with critics and fans alike, but Philip Glass’ lasting contribution to the violin repertoire certainly has hypnotic power. Whether you find it grating or intoxicating, it’s stimulated debate more than almost any other piece on our list.
- Various Artists, Philip Glass: Violin Concerto No. 1 Alfred Schnittke:...
- Deutsche Grammophon
Vivaldi has done more for the violin than most thanks to this ubiquitous set of concertos, and it’s even become a star-maker in its own right. These are the boldest program violin songs of the baroque times. The individual sonnets were written by Vivaldi to correspond with every movement of The Four Seasons.
- ISBN: 978-0-7697-0896-6
- Running Time: 103 minutes
Under constant attack for his anti-fascist views in his native Hungary, Bartok’s confused state of mind runs through this rich and tricky concerto. From his occasional 12-tone themes to the shattering climax, it’s a technical workout like no other, but with crucial, fiery context for the performer to get their head around.
- Bartok: Violin Concerto No. 2; Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. Posth.
- Pentatone Music
- Audio CD
Written originally for the great Sarasate (who features in this list in his own right), this spectacular work is legendary among violinists for its passages of insane arpeggios in the early stages.
- Chausson, Ravel, Saint-Saens, Perlman
- Saint-Saens: Introduction & Rondo capriccioso; Havanaise; Ernest...
- Angel Records
Much is made of the final movement of Sibelius’ one and only violin concerto, but there’s equal heft and beauty in the first two. A competition circuit favourite for violinists looking to establish themselves, it’s a perennial showstopper.
- Sibelius: Violin Concerto,Op.47 / Serenades Nos. 1 & 2 / Humoresque
- Deutsche Grammophon
- Audio CD
Each of Ysaÿe’s sonatas in this set were dedicated to a legendary contemporary violinist of his, and this case it was the great Georges Enescu.
These are short reviews of the 10 best violin albums to consider if you want to purchase a violin album. Their selection is based on popularity, melody, and the overall likability of the pieces they carry. Therefore, take a few minutes to consider them when expanding your violin songs horizon.
You may also want to read:
- Why does the violin lend itself so well to sad music?
- How to Choose a Violin for Beginners
- Violin vs Viola – How Do these String Instruments Compare?
- Viola vs Violin – How do these String Instruments Compare?