These are two widely different violin concertos for which Eldbjørg Hemsing has collaborated with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. And you are captured by her violin playing, which makes both of these concertos perfect.
Hjalmar Borgström (1864-1925) and his music have in many ways received a new spring in recent years. His opera “Thora on Rimul” and not least the orchestral works “Hamlet” (for piano and orchestra) and “Tanken”, as well as the violin sonata, have helped give Borgström the place he deserves in music history. His music is not “Norwegian” in the sense that he walks in Grieg’s footsteps. He stayed for long periods in Germany and gained much of his inspiration from European music life.
The quality of this “forgotten” concert is very good. And Eldbjørg Hemsing’s wide spectrum of sound and her delicate virtuosity fits this concerto very well. She has a musical timbre range that is impressive, something she greatly utilizes in this violin concerto.
That she knows well and masters the music of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) is beyond doubt. His first violin concerto is intense with its rhythmic and intense sound colors, and its is undoubtedly a masterpiece.
A number of great violinists have recorded this work – and the first was David Oistrakh, to whom the concerto is dedicated.
Hemsing has studied this work with the Ukrainian musician and Professor Boris Kushnir – a very good choice as she performs this concerto with a solid dose of Eastern European understanding. There is not a single tone that remains anonymous in her interpretation. She shows a technique and a virtuosity that is admirable.
Supporting her, Eldbjørg Hemsing has the very good Vienna Symphony Orchestra, attentively and skilfully led by Estonian conductor Olari Elts.
This recording can in many ways be regarded as Hemsing’s masterpiece – and she has passed this exam with flying colors.