Janine Jansen - Prokofiev
The first violin player I ever liked and still my favorite. She might not be the most technically astonishing player on the planet even if I find nothing wrong with her playing, but technical prowess has never meant anything to me during the time I've been a listener of music. Ability to convey thoughts and emotions as well as the essence of a piece of music trumps mere ability to play notes with precision and control in my book every time. Janine Jansen's playing has always had personality – something I often fail to hear in other people's playing.
I've had this particular disc for a couple of months now, but only decided to finally open and rip it today. As I type this I've only heard most of the 2nd violin concerto, but based on that I somehow get an impression her playing has matured from her previous recordings. Violin has been my favorite classical instrument as long as I've been listening to classical music and violin concertos have always been my favorite form of composition in the genre. I believe this is my first time hearing anything composed by Prokofiev, but based on hearing the 2nd violin concerto I would say it has to be one of the best concertos I've heard so far. It is a piece I will certainly want to come back to.
Time and time again I hear audiophiles call classical music the genre where you will find the absolute best sounding recordings ever made. Currently owning only somewhere between a hundred and two hundred classical recordings by my rough estimate and only having listened to the genre actively for perhaps half a decade, I would consider myself still an almost complete scrub when it comes to the genre, but based on my experience very few classical recordings actually appeal to me sonically. If all the audiophiles are talking about the recordings being tonally faithful to the instruments that might be true (I wouldn't know), but as a recording of sound I've found only a small percentage of classical recordings to fall under what I'd call "sonically impressive". Perhaps the standards by which I evaluate sound are simply radically different from the vast majority of people out there.
To get to the point which evoked what I just said, this disc at least on my Grados sounds absolute superb. Recorded exactly the way I would expect all classical music to be recorded (and produced), but however isn't a lot of the time. Based on what I've heard so far this might be one of the best discs I've heard so far from Janine Jansen, both musically and sonically, and I would recommend it most highly.
Cool, if you like violin and Prokofiev, you might want to check out Sayaka Shoji on youtube..