Ilya Kaler, TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto / Souvenir d’un lieu cher

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major is one of classical music's best known pieces. Here, it's expertly tackled by someone who knows his stuff: Ilya Kaler, a former International Tchaikovsky Competition gold medalist. Kaler turns in a stellar performance on the notoriously difficult piece, aided by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. The concerto is neatly joined by some of Tchaikovsky's minor violin works, most notably his “Souvenir of a Beloved Place.” The “beloved place” that Tchaikovsky references is Brailov, an area inside the Ukraine to which the composer fled soon after his ill-fated marriage. There he explored the countryside, lived in luxury at a friend's estate and completed the charming miniature as a gift to his host.