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Nicola Benedetti, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (Mozart-Schubert-MacMillan), Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, James MacMillan (released on November 14, 2006)
I'm working with someone who will help me control things a lot more and, I think, halt my diary slightly more. Hopefully, I'll gain control over the next couple of years and be able to fit in everything I'd like to do. The ideal situation would be to do slightly less, and everything slightly better, and have more time to practise, more time to develop, more time to learn.
Geoff Brown, Nicola Benedetti (The Times, May 12)
Colin Clarke, Nicola Benedetti & James MacMillan (The Classical Source, August 6)
Marc Geelhoed, Nicola Benedetti (Time Out Chicago, November 29)
Benedetti has lovely moments, in some of the soft passages of the Mendelssohn, for example. MacMillan guides the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, an ensemble that has seen its reputation slide somewhat in recent years, in a capable and full-bodied performance. In the end, however, Benedetti's bravura and impetuous youth are not enough. On the other hand, it is good to hear her confronting more recent music. The MacMillan work, given its premiere recording here, is titled From Ayrshire, a reference to the region of Scotland where Benedetti grew up. Especially in its languorous first movement, it takes advantage of Benedetti's strengths, long lines, soft playing, and exotic, coloristic effects, the same characteristics that made her performance of the Szymanowski concerto so lovely. Judging from her own words quoted above, Benedetti knows what she needs to do at this point in her career, to let her remarkable talent blossom as it should. I am willing to keep listening, but you should feel free to skip this recording and hope for better things down the road.
Deutsche Grammophon B0007682-02