South African violinist Piet Koornhof is Delos’s most often-recorded violin virtuoso, having participated in seven previous recordings for us: both as soloist with piano accompaniment and with larger ensembles. This most impressive release pairs him with a superb pianist, although most knowledgeable listeners think of these beloved pieces as works for violin and orchestra. In fact, the composers themselves arranged these versions for violin and piano, except for the Saint-Saëns work, which was arranged by Bizet.
It should therefore come as no surprise that the versions heard in this album feature piano parts of particular richness and complexity—beautifully delivered by Albie van Schalkwyk, who is widely considered to be “the dean of collaborative pianists” in South Africa. Together, these masterly artists weave musical webs that radiate tremendous appeal, lush emotional intensity and virtuosic excitement.