'...the same movement of the human spirit...': Gwendolyn Masin Releases 'Flame'

Gwendolyn Masin (Image: Balazs Borocz-Pilvax)

'...the same movement of the human spirit...': Gwendolyn Masin Releases 'Flame'

Violinist is joined by Swiss pianist Simon Bucher on latest recording.

Currently undertaking a six-concert series with Finghin Collins at the NCH, and performing in Galway this Friday, violinist Gwendolyn Masin has also recently released a new album, Flame, on the Orchid Classics label.

Similar to her last album – Origins, reviewed in The Journal of Music here – Flame features a diverse range of works, including Messiaen’s ‘Thème et Variations’, Stravinsky’s ‘Berceuse’ for violin and piano from The Firebird, Debussy’s Beau Soir, Szymanovsky’s ‘Chant de Roxane’ and more. Masin, who is accompanied by Simon Bucher on piano, chose the title Flame because several of the works were composed during desperate and difficult times, and yet the music inspires. She writes: ‘These works possess movement that I know to be the same movement of the human spirit – they enact, they enthral, they enliven – and in all this movement, there is transcendence.’ 

Blazing Intensity
Masin was born in Amsterdam but grew up in Dublin, and is descended from a long line of musicians from Central and Eastern Europe. Writing in The Journal of Music about Origins, Adrian Smith described her playing as ‘technically flawless but, crucially, it also steers clear of that chic blandness which so often characterises these virtuoso portraits and makes them indistinguishable from each other. There is certainly plenty of grain to her style, which at its most captivating reaches a blazing intensity…’. 

Masin will perform one of the works from Flame, Fauré’s Après un rêve (Opus 7, No. 1 for violin and piano) as part of the International Chamber Music Festival at the National Concert Hall with Finghin Collins (piano) on 8 March. On 19 April, they will be joined by Roderick Williams (baritone), Gina Maria McGuinness (violin), Blythe Teh Engstroem (viola) and Thomas Kaufmann (cello) to perform works by Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn in the final concert of the series. For further information and tickets, visit https://goo.gl/75D8ca

Masin will also perform with her Origin Ensemble on Friday 9 March in Galway. Find out more at https://goo.gl/aaKjLx.

Listen to the album on Spotify below.

Flame tracklist:

Claude Debussy
Sonata for violin and piano in G minor L. 140
1. Allegro vivo 
2. Intermède – Fantasque et leger 
3. Finale – Très animé  
 

Karol Szymanovsky
4. ‘Chant de Roxane’ for violin and piano from the opera King Roger   

Gabriel Fauré
5. ‘Après un rêve’ Opus 7/1 for violin and piano  
 

Olivier Messiaen
6. ‘Thème et Variations’ for violin and piano 
Thème
1ére Variation – Modéré
2ème Variation – Un peu moins modéré
3ème Variation – Modéré, avec éclat
4ème Variation – Vif et passionné
5ème Variation – Très modéré
 

Igor Stravinsky
7. ‘Berceuse’ for violin and piano from The Firebird

Claude Debussy
8. Beau Soir for violin and piano   
 

Maurice Ravel
Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major for violin and piano
9. Allegretto
10. Blues, Moderato
11. Perpetuum mobile, Allegro

This news item is supported by Orchid Classics.

Published on 6 March 2018

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