John Williams: Violin Concerto No. 1 & Bernstein: Serenade

James Ehnes, St. Louis Symphony, Stéphane Denève

John Williams: Violin Concerto No. 1 & Bernstein: Serenade
Published
26 April 2024
ISBN
8717306261487

John Williams: Violin Concerto No. 1 & Bernstein: Serenade

James Ehnes, St. Louis Symphony, Stéphane Denève

The St. Louis Symphony and their Stéphane Denève present a wonderful program featuring two of the most accomplished American composers in history: Leonard Bernstein with his and John Williams with his Concerto for violin and orchestra, both performed by star James Ehnes, one of the most exceptional North American violinists.

John Williams himself was present at the recording of his violin concerto, working together with the St. Louis Symphony, Deneve, and Ehnes. Both works evolve around love: Bernstein's Serenade was inspired by musings on love from Plato's Symposium while Williams's work was arguably inspired and eventually dedicated to his suddenly deceased wife.

By combining these two concert pieces, this album puts the symphonic work of Bernstein and Williams at the center, two composers who weren't afraid of crossing the boundaries between film music and 'serious' classical genres at a time when these worlds were generally kept far apart. Especially in Williams' concerto, there are still hints of his work as a film composer; the slow movement brings to mind a scene of emotional gravity.

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