Ivry Gitlis's playing always makes me smile – it’s full of warmth, humanity and humour
John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine
(Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop)
Every time I get into my car with my children, my three-year-old son demands to hear this piece – he’s completely obsessed by it. The exciting, hypotonic rhythms send him into some kind of trance. Luckily I'm a huge John Adams fan, too. The track features on a compilation CD that accompanies a book my godmother gave to me for my children.
This is a sensational and incredibly refreshing CD. It doesn’t fit any preconceived notions of violin playing: Kopatchinskaja has a unique voice. The whole album is original and imaginative. For example she plays Ravel’s Tzigane accompanied by a cimbalom instead of a piano.
Franck Violin Sonata in A major
I love to listen to Gitlis, especially in this sonata. His playing always makes me smile – it’s full of warmth, humanity and humour. I’m drawn to players like him who have their own individual voice on their instrument.
Boulez Anthèmes 2 for violin & live electronics
I’m relearning this piece for the Boulez weekend at the Southbank Centre. I learnt it a few years ago, but it includes such enormous technical challenges that I feel like I’m learning a new piece. In the piece electronics bounce back shards of what the violinist plays – the aural equivalent of stepping into a hall of mirrors and seeing an infinite reflection. I’m hoping that listening to this recording will prepare me for the sound of the electronics in the concert hall. It’s not something I can practise at home!
Britten Cello Suites
Wispelwey is constantly evolving as an artist. He regularly revisits and re-records pieces, bringing with him a wholly different approach. He always manages to capture a sense of freshness in his performances and recordings, especially this one.