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GODARD: Violin Concerto No. 2 / Concerto romantique / Scenes poetiques

Composer(s):Godard, Benjamin
Artist(s) Trevor, Kirk, Conductor • Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, KosiceHanslip, Chloe, violin
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.570554
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

As a boy Benjamin Godard was a celebrated violin prodigy, but later turned to composition as his life's work. With the notable exception of the ever-popular Berceuse from the opera Jocelyn, the most of Godard's works have fallen out of the repertoire. A thorough romantic in the Schumann-Mendelssohn mould, Godard was best known for his short atmospheric pieces and stave works, while his short piano pieces have recently garnered new respect. Two of his most successful longer works are the Concerto Romantique and the Violin Concerto No. 2, both featuring deft virtuoso writing for the violin and the romantic sensibility of the mid-19th century.

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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Benjamin Godard was an excellent violinist and his style was essentially that of the middle, rather than late, 19th century. He was especially attracted to the music of Schumann. Quite a prodigious composer, he wrote in many forms, though he was perhaps most successful as a miniaturist—his popular Berceuse is his best-known work. The Violin Concerto No. 2 begins in a dramatic manner, though richly romantic melodies quickly take over. A brooding slow movement follows, followed by an exceptionally gay and vivacious finale—where the spirit of Offenbach enters. The much earlier Concerto Romantique is written in four movements. The opening movement has a lively, rustic quality which is very appealing, while the two slower central movements have much


Review By Roderick Dunnett,The Strad,May 2008

This disc proves what Naxos does pre-eminently well: introducing unfamiliar repertoire by lesser-known composers on both sides of the Atlantic, often to reveal neglected treasures.

The Second Violin Concerto by French composer Benjamin Godard (1849–95) is a somewhat expansive Romantic work of immense warmth, whose gloriously full-blooded opening, especially when as excit­ingly and commandingly played as here by the resplendent, youthful virtuoso Chloë Hanslip, would thrill concert audiences anywhere.


Review By Julian Haylock,Classic FM,March 2008

[Godard’s two violin concertos] combine the effortless melodic fluency of Saint-Saëns with the scorching pyrotechnics of Wieniawski. Chloë Hanslip plays them with total dedication and passion, soaring aloft on a magic carpet of golden legato tone, while fully reveling in the music’s virtuoso dash and sparkle. Bruch and Sarasate fans should definitely give this one a spin.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,February 2008

Given this brilliant and highly charged performance from the charismatic young British violinist, Chloe Hanslip, you wonder why Benjamin Godard’s concerto has not gained significant popularity. Son of a wealthy Parisian business man, he was a child prodigy who entered the Paris Conservatoire in his early teenage years, but had moved to composition soon after arriving there as a student of Henri Reber. His works were soon winning acclaim in many genres, though today he is internationally known only by the salon piece, Berceuse, taken from his opera, Jocelyn. At the height of his fame, and eight years after being appointed professor at the Paris Conservatoire, Godard died in 1895 at the age of 46. In style he veered between the classicism of Mendelssohn and the



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