May 14, 2023 – 7:28 am

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Plays Wynton Marsalis
with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
conducted by Thomas Søndergård [no label, 2CD]

BBC Prom 67. Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK; September 6, 2022. Very good FM broadcast.

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‘Nicola Benedetti - now, she really can play,’ says the American composer, trumpeter and all-round jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, and after Benedetti gave the world premiere of the concerto that he composed for her in 2015, The Guardian wrote of her ’sparky performance’.

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Claire Seymour, seenandheard-international.com:

This was a Prom which set out to amaze, entertain and delight its audience. And, it succeeded in spades. At its core was a fusion of classical, jazz, blues and Scottish folk music, in the form of Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto, performed at the Proms for the first time by Nicola Benedetti for whom it was written and for whose talents it is tailor-made. It’s an incredibly complex piece, the varied and many conversations constantly shifting and the mood changing. It requires the soloist to be a storyteller and a showman, playing many roles in its mesmerising narrative.

Benedetti shaped the drama with supreme confidence and imaginative insight. Her communicativeness and warmth are second to none and the full-to-the-rafters audience were rapt by her virtuosity and generosity. The first movement ‘Rhapsody’ began with a wisp of violin sound, seemingly drawn out of the silence or pulled from dreams, which Benedetti made bloom with sweet richness and a lovely tranquillity, the full tone of her Stradivarius floating easily to the reaches of the Hall.

Gradually pulse and passion accrued, the solo line discursive, exuberant and vivid, coaxing the orchestra into flamboyance. There were some lovely dialogues between the stratospheric, glistening solo violin and harp, and in the quieter episodes the orchestral texture had a beautifully pillowy softness. The sheer detail and vitality demanded much from players and listeners alike, but Benedetti’s personality and presence brought the parts into a coherent whole, and the movement came to a close with stamping feet and a whistling solo that was jaunty and teasing.

The ’Rondo Burlesque’ was a kaleidoscopic romp, brilliantly executed, its assured swing irresistible.  At one point, Benedetti wandered across the RAH stage to have fun rhythmically duetting with a drummer. ‘Blues’ felt like the heart of the work. Benedetti found lovely colours and textures here, the woodwind murmuring and bubbling around her searching phrases, the strings answering with comforting warm homophony.

Contemplation was raucously tossed aside in ‘Hootenanny’ - described by Marsalis as a ‘whimsical barnyard throw-down’ - in which Scottish and American folk music merged in a boisterous, gleeful, clapping-fuelled romp. The Concerto requires much stamina and Benedetti’s energy and focus were remarkable, though the moment that made the most impact was the quietest one: when, at the close, Benedetti slowly made her way through the orchestra and off-stage, her violin gradually diminishing into stillness.

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Disc 1
Track 101. Thomas Adès - Three-Piece Suite from ‘Powder Her Face’ (Suite No. 1) 11:30
Track 102. Introduction to Prom 67 2:21
Track 103. Introduction to Marsalis’ Violin Concerto 4:25
Track 104. Wynton Marsalis - Violin Concerto 44:09
63 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Interval, Prom 67 23:52
Track 202. Britten - Four Sea Interludes from ‘Peter Grimes’ 15:48
Track 203. Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’ 23:40
Track 204. Introduction to Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances 3:43
Track 205. Eightsome Reels (trad) 4:20
72 mins

Nicola Benedetti (violin)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Thomas Søndergård (conductor)

   Click here to order Nicola Benedetti releases.

   Click here to order Wynton Marsalis releases.

  1. 9 Responses to “JAZZ ON SUNDAY: NICOLA BENEDETTI - LONDON 2022”

  2. All violins are the same size so Nicola can’t like big Uns, or little Uns

    By Walter on May 14, 2023

  3. here you go wally, standing up with my hands on my hips, get on yer knees and start suckling on my knob

    By HHH on May 14, 2023

  4. Say what Triple? I been looking but I can’t see it. Perhaps I need a magnifying glass.

    By Walter on May 14, 2023

  5. Oh yeah, and your asshole fuckin stinks. Get Derrick or Nelson to toss your salad. Perhaps they can find your micropenis as well, while they’re at it. Me, I’m gonna lay some $ down for Rock Chick Traci to luck my balls while Pam sucks on my shaft.

    By Walter on May 14, 2023

  6. I do LOVE having my balls lucked !!

    By Walter on May 14, 2023

  7. Im a maricon and would love to do that. get your buddy lenny to pound my culo

    By Rightup Dias on May 15, 2023

  8. A little violin is called a fiddle and a big violin is called a cello. Dumbass.

    By Derrick on May 15, 2023

  9. What you n I do in the basement where I keep you is a fiddle and a big violin is for hiding bootleg licker in as you well know boi!

    By Derrick's Mom on May 15, 2023

  10. A big violin is a viola dumbass!

    By Yehudi on May 15, 2023

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