KUNSTEN Å FLY
På sin debutplate på LAWO Classics byr den fremadstormende, unge, norske fiolinisten Sonoko Miriam Welde lytteren på fiolinkonserter av Max Bruch og Samuel Barber, samt Ralph Vaughan Williams rørende stykke «The Lark Ascending», skrevet under første verdenskrig, «da en pastoral scene med en syngende fugl i flukt virket fjernt fra virkeligheten» (Betsy Schwarm, Britannica).
Sonoko framfører verkene i vakkert samspill med Oslo- Filharmonien, under ledelse av Tabita Berglund (Bruch og Vaughan Williams) og Joshua Weilerstein (Barber).
Sonoko sier selv om repertoaret på utgivelsen: «Iblant forestiller jeg meg mennesker som lever i vanskelige tider, ser opp på lerken og misunner dens liv og frihet de skulle ønske de hadde selv. «The Lark Ascending» er et rørende stykke med høytsvevende melodier og lerkens ‘sølvlenke av lyd’. Slike melodier finner vi også i Barbers konsert. Selv om den åpner med en sjenerøs og varm melodi, tar det ikke lang tid før uvissheten sniker seg på, og store deler av den første satsen domineres av en følelse av noe uavklart. Den andre satsen er et av de mest rørende og hjerteskjærende musikkstykker jeg vet om. Bruchs fiolinkonsert er et stykke med følelsene utenpå. Første sats er en alvorlig og dramatisk innledning, den andre er utrolig rørende og oppriktig og den tredje frydefull og livsbekreftende. Dette verket har vært med meg i mange viktige og spesielle øyeblikk i livet så langt.»
Sonoko Miriam Welde er en av de mest spennende unge fiolinistene som har dukket opp fra Norge de siste årene. Hun ble født i Bergen i 1996, debuterte med Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester i en alder av ni år og har siden vunnet den norske solistprisen og Virtuos-konkurransen. Hun var på Crescendo-programmet i 2018-2020, veiledet av Janine Jansen og Leif Ove Andsnes, og mottok Equinor Talentpris. De siste årene har hun opptrådt med internasjonale orkestre som Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony og Lausanne Chamber Orchestra.
THE ART OF FLYING
On her debut recording with LAWO Classics, the up-and-coming young Norwegian violinist Sonoko Miriam Welde presents violin concertos by Max Bruch and Samuel Barber, as well as Ralph Vaughan Williams’s poignant piece “The Lark Ascending”, written during World War I, “when a pastoral scene of a singing bird on the wing seemed far removed from reality” (Betsy Schwarm, Encyclopædia Britannica). Here Sonoko collaborates beautifully with the Oslo Philharmonic conducted by Tabita Berglund (Bruch and Vaughan Williams) and Joshua Weilerstein (Barber).
What Sonoko herself says about this release:
“Sometimes I imagine people who are living in difficult times, who look up at a lark and envy its life and its freedom, which they wish they could share. ‘The Lark Ascending’ is a touching piece with soaring melodies and the lark’s ‘silver chain of sound’. We also find melodies like this in Barber’s concerto. Although it opens with a warm and generous melody, it does not take long before uncertainty sneaks in, and a large part of the first movement is dominated by a feeling of something unresolved. The second movement is one of the most touching and heartbreaking pieces of music I know of. Bruch’s violin concerto is a piece that has a powerful emotional impact. The first movement is a serious and dramatic introduction, the second is unbelievably moving and sincere, and the third is joyous and life-affirming. This work has been present at many important and special moments of my life so far.”
Sonoko Miriam Welde is one of the most exciting young violinists to emerge in Norway in recent years. She was born in Bergen in 1996, held her debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 9, and has won the Norwegian Soloist Prize and the Virtuos competition. She was part of the Crescendo mentoring programme from 2018 to 2020, under the supervision of Janine Jansen and Leif Ove Andsnes, and was awarded the Equinor Talent Prize. In the past few years she has performed with international orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra.
"Sonoko Miriam Welde’s name reflects this young violinist’s Norwegian/Japanese parentage. Starting as a Suzuki pupil, she has accumulated a string of distinguished teachers. She was 23 and 24 when making this well-recorded debut disc. It contains one performance of the highest quality. I hear the influence of Vilde Frang, one of her mentors, in the way the notes bubble up, ineffably birdlike, in the outer sections of The Lark Ascending. Welde is one of the few since Hugh Bean to realise fully how vital the double-stops are in creating the pastoral atmosphere. Tabita Berglund and the orchestra are in accord and this is one of the finest Larks I have heard. [...]" Tully Potter, The Strad, 26.01.2022
"It may be more usual for a young artist to dip their first toes in the recording waters with a recital disc than with a concerto programme. Listen, though, to the opening seconds of this Bruch First Violin Concerto from young Norwegian violinist Sonoko Miriam Welde – currently being mentored by Janine Jansen – and you’re unlikely to need any convincing over the logic of her diving straight in with the latter; and indeed her Bruch is thoroughly embedded […] The Barber, crammed with similar qualities to the previous two works, equally hits all the right spots, with its Andante a particular knockout: for the orchestral introduction’s poised expression and lucid textures (the oboe solo is everything one could wish); for conductor Joshua Weilerstein’s architecture; for an ardently lyric Welde, who delivers the expressive goods while bringing tonal beauty and all manner of colours to the writing across every register of her instrument; and given that there’s a lot of serene singing and romance in this programme, I love that the Barber’s Presto in moto perpetuo finale allows them to go out with a virtuoso bang. A hugely impressive debut for Welde." Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone Magazine
"[...] The transparent balance between soloist and ensemble enhances the illusion, as does Berglund’s subtle conducting and Welde’s ability to create the most treble bird-like twitters I’ve ever heard from a violin, especially in the final minutes that come slowly down to total stillness. Over its 15 minutes, this performance is like a flower slowly opening into full bloom and then closing for the day. In both the Bruch and Vaughan Williams the engineering is warm and detailed with excellent balances. Welde and American conductor Joshua Weilerstein deliver a unique performance of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto. The nature of I is basically comforting, but here both artists bring to it a special transparency, lightness, and atmosphere. The flow is organic, never rushed or excited for its own sake, with the climax feeling 100% natural. [...]" French, American Record Guide, May/June 2022
"[...] This is, overall, a really lovely album. The recorded sound of this orchestra and the soloist is quite huge and surrounding—perhaps this is the effect of some reverb—but it sounds so perfect that, as I listened, I suddenly missed hearing live symphony music. Maybe I will return to the symphony soon, but until then, I’m looking forward to what is next for Welde. What else has she got tied to the end of that string?" Jacqueline Kharouf, Fanfare Magazine, Sept/Oct 2022
MAX BRUCH (1838-1920)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
1) I. Prelude: Allegro moderato /// 08:01
2) II. Adagio /// 08:56
3) III. Finale: Allegro energico /// 07:23
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
4) The Lark Ascending /// 14:27
SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981)
Violin Concerto, Op. 14
5) I. Allegro // 10:36
6) II. Andante /// 08:26
7) III. Presto in moto perpetuo /// 03:57