Intermusica Artists' Management

 

 

Intermusica represents James Ehnes in Europe

Manager:
Bridget Emmerson

Artist Manager (Germany):
Nicola Friemel

Associate Artist Manager:
Lucy Saunders

Other Links:

James Ehnes's website

James Ehnes on Onyx Classics

James Ehnes

Violin

  • English Biography
  • German Biography


  • “When we now speak of the world’s finest young fiddlers we must surely add the name of this visionary Canadian. Throughout, Ehnes’s playing glows. You get the feeling every time he puts bow to string that something special will, quite naturally, just happen.”
    Gramophone

    Born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, James Ehnes has established himself as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Dutoit, Ivan Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Maazel, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New York, London Symphony, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, DSO Berlin and the NHK Symphony orchestras.

    Highlights of the 2014/15 season include London Symphony with Alsop, Vienna Symphony with Elder, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Orozco-Estrada, Danish National Symphony with Noseda, Orchestre National de Lyon with Yu Long, Royal Philharmonic with Dutoit, DSO Berlin and Sydney Symphony with Søndergård, Boston Symphony with Denève and Oslo Philharmonic with Petrenko, as well as an appearance at the BBC Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a tour of Europe with the Toronto Symphony, including a performance at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

    Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He has appeared at festivals such as City of London, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights in St Petersburg, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2009 he made a sensational debut at the Salzburg Festival performing the Paganini Caprices. Ehnes is a regular guest at the Wigmore Hall in London and at the 2007 BBC Proms he premiered a new work for violin and piano by Aaron Jay Kernis. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Lortie, Vogler and Yo-Yo Ma; in 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he made his debut European tour in February 2014 with concerts at the Wigmore Hall and Auditorium du Louvre, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

    Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings including a 2008 Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a 2008 Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a 2008 JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His 2010 recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” His recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, recorded live with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Ashkenazy received outstanding reviews. The Daily Telegraph wrote of the disc, “Ehnes’s gorgeous, supple tone is combined with that instinct for a composer’s distinctive character that makes his interpretations so compelling.” Ehnes’s recent recording of the Bartok Concerti was nominated for a 2012 Gramophone Award in the Concerto category. Recent releases include concertos by Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Khachaturian.

    Ehnes began violin studies at the age of four, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, made his orchestral debut with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal aged 13 and graduated from The Juilliard School in 1997, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

    James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.


    „Am Beginn des ersten Schostakowitsch-Konzerts färbt Ehnes seinen Ton warm und fast Cello-artig. Seine ausdifferenzierte Farbpalette ist wirklich beeindruckend und reicht bis hin zu schneidend scharf - in blitzsauberen Doppelgriffen, die jede Dissonanz physisch fühlbar werden lassen.“
    NDR, Juni 2013

    Der 1976 in Brandon, Kanada, geborene James Ehnes hat sich als einer der führenden Geiger seiner Generation etabliert. Mit seiner Kombination aus atemberaubender Virtuosität, lyrischer Ausdrucksweise und vorbehaltloser Musikalität wird Ehnes sehr gerne von vielen der angesehensten Dirigenten wie Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Dutoit, Ivan Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Maazel, Noseda, Robertson und Runnicles als Solist eingeladen. Zur langen Liste der Orchester, mit denen Ehnes zusammenarbeitet, gehören unter anderem das Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Tschechische Philharmonie, DSO Berlin und NHK Sinfonieorchester.

    Höhepunkte der 2013/14 Spielzeit sind z.B. Konzerte mit dem Deutschen Symphonie-Orchester Berlin unter Ashkenazy, dem Chicago Symphony Orchestra unter Denève, dem San Francisco Symphony Orchestra unter Tilson Thomas, MDR Sinfonieorchester unter Wolff, der Tschechischen Philharmonie Prag unter Alsop, dem Russischen Nationalorchester unter Elder, dem BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra unter Runnicles, dem Orchestre National d’Ile de France unter Søndergård, und ein “play/direct” Projekt mit dem Israel Chamber Orchestra. Weitere zukünftige Konzertauftritte sind mit dem Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, dem New York Philharmonic Orchestra, dem London Symphony Orchestra, der Osloer Philharmonie, dem Danish National Symphony Orchestra und dem Orchestre National de Lyon.

    Neben seiner Solistentätigkeit fühlt sich James Ehnes auch sehr der Kammermusik verpflichtet. Er ist bei Festivalen wie dem City of London, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, Weiβe Nächte St. Petersburg aufgetreten und hat im Jahr 2009 mit den Capricen von Paganini sein sensationelles Debüt bei den Salzburger Festspielen gefeiert. Ehnes tritt regelmäβig in der Wigmore Hall in London auf und hat bei den BBC Proms 2007 ein neues Werk für Violine und Klavier von Aaron Jay Kernis uraufgeführt. 2010 gründete Ehnes das Ehnes Quartett, mit dem er im Februar 2014 seine Debütournee in Europa mit Konzerten u.a. in der Wigmore Hall und dem Auditorium du Louvre geben wird. Als Kammermusiker hat er mit Künstlern wie Andsnes, Lortie, Vogler und Yo-Yo Ma zusammengearbeitet. Ehnes ist der künstlerische Leiter der Seattle Chamber Music Society, hat im März 2013 sein Debüt bei Renaud Capuçon’s Festival in Aix-en-Provence gegeben und wird im April 2014 wieder dorthin zurückkehren.

    Ehnes verfügt über eine umfangreiche Diskographie und viele seiner Aufnahmen wurden mit Preisen ausgezeichnet. Für die Live Aufnahme des Violinkonzerts von Elgar mit Sir Andrew Davis und dem Philharmonia Orchestra gewann er 2008 einen Gramophone Award. Seine Aufnahme der Violinkonzerte von Korngold, Barber und Walton wurde 2008 mit dem Grammy für „Bester Soloaufrtitt eines Instrumentalisten” und einem JUNO Preis für „Bestes klassisches Album des Jahres” ausgezeichnet. Die von ihm 2010 eingespielten Paganini Capricen wurden von der Kritik gefeiert, Diapason schrieb: „Einer wie er wird nur alle hundert Jahre geboren”. Über seine Einspielung des Violinkonzerts von Mendelssohn, das er 2010 live mit dem Philharmonia Orchestra unter Vladimir Ashkenazy aufnahm, gepaart mit dem Mendelssohn Oktet, das er mit Mitgliedern der Seattle Chamber Music Society einspielte, schrieb der Daily Telegraph: „Die Interpretationen von Ehnes überzeugen durch den wunderschönen, weichen Ton und Ehnes’ sicheren Instinkt für den unverwechselbaren Charakter eines Komponisten.” Auch die jüngst eingespielten Bartok Konzerte erhielten von der Kritik gröβtes Lob und wurden für den Grammy Award 2012 in der Concerto Kategorie nominiert. Einspielungen mit Werken von Britten, Schostakowitsch und Prokofiev werden demnächst erscheinen.

    Ehnes begann seinen Violinunterricht im Alter von vier Jahren. Mit neun Jahren wurde er Protégé des bekannten kanadischen Geigers Francis Chaplin, mit 13 gab er sein Debüt als Solist mit dem Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. 1997 schloss er sein Studium an der Juilliard School ab und gewann den Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. Er ist Mitglied der Royal Society of Canada und wurde 2010 zum Mitglied des Order of Canada ernannt.

    James Ehnes spielt die „Marsick” Stradivari von 1715.

    September 2014 / 578 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material. Please contact Intermusica if this biography is out of date.

    BACH
    Violin Concerto in A minor
     
    Violin Concerto in E major
     
    Violin Concerto in D minor for two violins
    BARBER
    Violin Concerto 
    BARTÓK
    Violin Concerto No.1
     
    Violin Concerto No.2 
     
    Two Rhapsodies for Violin and Orchestra
    BEETHOVEN
    Violin Concerto
     
    Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra

    Two Romances for Violin and Orchestra
    BERG
    Violin Concerto 
    BERLIOZ
    Reverie et Caprice
    BERNSTEIN
    Serenade
    BRAHMS
    Violin Concerto 
     
    Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra
    BRITTEN
    Violin Concerto 
    BRUCH
    Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor
     
    Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor
     
    Violin Concerto No.3 in D minor
     
    Scottish Fantasy
    CHAUSSON
    Poeme
    CORIGLIANO
    Chaconne from "The Red Violin"
    DALLAPICCOLA
    Tartiniana
    DOHNANYI
    Violin Concerto No.2
    DVORÁK
    Violin Concerto 
    ELGAR
    Violin Concerto
    GLAZUNOV
    Violin Concerto 
    HAYDN
    Concerto in C major
    HUMMEL
    Concerto in G major
     
    Adagio and Rondo alla Polacca
     
    Potpourri (viola and orchestra)
    KABALEVSKY
    Violin Concerto 
    KHACHATURIAN
    Violin Concerto 
    KNUSSEN
    Violin Concerto 
    KORNGOLD
    Violin Concerto 
    KREISLER
    Assorted short works for Violin and Orchestra
    LALO
    Symphonie Espagnole 
    MASSENET
    Meditation (from Thais)
    MENDELSSOHN
    Violin Concerto in E minor 
    MILHAUD
    Cinema-Fantaisie (apres "Le Bouef sur la Toit")
    MOZART
    Violin Concerto No.1 in B flat
     
    Violin Concerto No.2 in D major
     
    Violin Concerto No.3 in G major
     
    Violin Concerto No.4 in D major
     
    Violin Concerto No.5 in A major
     
    Rondo in Bb
     
    Rondo in C
     
    Adagio in E
     
    Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra
    PAGANINI
    Violin Concerto No.1 in D major
     
    Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor
     
    Violin Concerto No.3
     
    Violin Concerto No.4
     
    Moto Perpetuo
     
    Theme and Variations on "I Palpiti"
     
    La Streghe (Witches' Dance
    PANUFNIK
    Violin Concerto 
    PROKOFIEV
    Violin Concerto No.1 in D major
     
    Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor
    RAVEL
    Tzigane
    SAINT-SAENS 
    Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor 
     
    Havanaise
     
    Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
    SARASATE
    Carmen Fantasy
     
    Faust Fantasy
     
    Ziguenerweisen
    SCHUBERT
    Rondo in A
     
    Konzertstuck
    SCHUMANN
    Concerto
    SHOSTAKOVICH
    Violin Concerto No.1 
    SIBELIUS
    Violin Concerto Op.47 in D minor
     
    Six Humoresques
    SINDING
    Suite in A minor
    STRAVINSKY
    Violin Concerto 
    TCHAIKOVSKY
    Violin Concerto 
     
    Valse-Scherzo
     
    Serenade Melancolique
    VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
    The Lark Ascending
    VIEUXTEMPS
    Violin Concerto No.4 in D minor
     
    Violin Concerto No.5 in A minor
    VIVALDI
    The Four Seasons
     
    Four concertos from L'estro Armonico
    WALTON
    Violin Concerto 
    WEILL
    Concerto for Violin and Winds
    WIENIAWSKI
    Violin Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor
     
    Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor
     
    Faust Fantasy
     
    Polonaise in A
     
    Polonaise in D
     
    Legende
     
    Variation on an Original Theme

    Back to Top

    Most recent release:

    Barber, Bernstein, Carter, Copland, Ives
    Copland Violin Sonata; Ives Largo for violin, clarinet and piano; Bernstein Piano Trio; Carter Elegy for viola and piano;
    Seattle Chamber Music Society

    ONYX Classics (4121)
    Amazon.co.uk




    Adams
    Music for Violin and Piano
    Eduard Laurel, piano
    Black Box BBM 1098
    Bach
    6 Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin
    Analekta FL 2 3147-8
    Bach Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Vol.1
    Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord
    Analekta AN 2 9829 
    Barber, Bernstein, Carter, Copland, Ives Copland Violin Sonata; Ives Largo for violin, clarinet and piano; Bernstein Piano Trio; Carter Elegy for viola and piano; Barber String Quartet
    Seattle Chamber Music Society
    Analekta AN 2 9829 
    Bartók
    Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2; Viola Concerto
    BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda
    Chandos CHAN
    10690
    Bartók
    Violin Sonatas Nos 1 & 2; Rhapsodies Nos 1& 2; Andante in A major
    Andrew Armstrong
    Chandos CHAN 10705
    Bartók
    Solo Violin Sonata Sz117; Violin Sonata Sz20; Hungarian Folk Songs; Hungarian Folk Tunes; Romanian Folk Dances
    Andrew Armstrong
    Chandos CHAN 10752
    Bartók
    Contrasts BB 116; Sonatina BB 102a; Forty four Duos BB 104
    Michael Collins, Andrew Armstrong, Amy Schwartz Moretti
    Chandos CHAN 10820
    Britten, Shostakovich
    Britten Violin Concerto Op.15; Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 Op.77 
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits 
    ONYX Classics 4113
    Bruch
    1st and 3rd Violin Concertos
    Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
    CBC Records SMCD5207

    2nd Violin Concerto & Scottish Fantasy
    Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Mario Bernardi
    CBC Records SMCD5222
    Dallapiccola
    Tartiniana
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda
    Chandos CHAN 10258
    Dohnányi
    Violin Concerto No.2
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Mathias Bamert
    Chandos CHAN 10245
    Dvorak
    Violin Concerto
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda
    Chandos CHAN 10309
    Dvorak, Janacek, Smetana
    Romantic pieces
    Eduard Laurel, piano
    Analekta FL 2 3191
    Elgar
    Violin Concerto and Serenade for Strings
    Philharmonia Orchestra, Andrew Davis
    ONYX Classics 4025
    Hummel
    Violin Concertos; Potpourri for Viola  and Orchestra
    London Mozart Players, Howard Shelley
    Chandos CHAN 10255
    Khachaturian, Shostakovich
    Khachaturian Violin Concerto & Shostakovich String Quartets Nos 7 & 8
    Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mark Wigglesworth, Ehnes Quartet
    ONYX Classics 4121
    Korngold, Barber, Walton
    Violin Concertos
    Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey
    Onyx Classics 4016
    Kreisler
    Music for Violin and Piano
    Eduard Laurel, piano
    Analekta FL 2 3159
    Mendelssohn
    Violin Concerto and Octet
    Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Seattle Chamber Music Society
    Onyx Classics 4060
    Mozart
    Violin Concertos Nos 1-5; Adagio K.261; Rondo K.269; Rondo K.373
    Mozart Anniversary Orchestra
    CBC Records 5238
    Paganini
    24 Caprices for Solo Violin (2009)
    Onyx Classics 4044

    24 Caprices for Solo Violin 
    Telarc 80398
    Prokofiev
    Complete Works for Violin:
    Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda
    Sonata for Two Violins (Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin)
    Sonata for Solo Violin, Sonata No. 1 and Five Melodies (Andrew Armstrong, piano)
    Chandos CHAN 10787
    Prokofiev
    The 2 Violin Sonatas & 5 Mélodies
    Wendy Chen, piano
    Analekta FL 2 3145
    Ravel, Debussy, Saint-Saens
    Music for Violin and Piano
    Wendy Chen, piano
    CBC Records MVCD 1138
    Schumann, Fauré
    Piano Quintets
    Mira Wang, violin,  Naoko Shimizu, viola, Jan Volgler, cello, Louis Lortie, piano
    Sony Classical 0930382
    Tchaikovsky
    Violin Concerto in D Op.35; Sérénade mélancolique; Valse-scherzo; Souvenir d'un lieu cher
    Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Onyx Classics 4076
    Tchaikovsky
    The Sleeping Beauty (complete)
    Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
    Robert deMaine, ‘cello
    Chandos CHSA 5113
    Tchaikovsky
    Swan Lake
    Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
    Chandos CHSA 5124(2)
    Various
    French Showpieces
    Quebec Symphony Orchestra and Yoav Talmi
    Analekta FL 2 3151
    Wieniawski, Sarasate
    Music for Violin and Piano
    Eduard Laurel, piano
    CBC Records MVCD 1168

    “One of the most gifted and sincerely expressive artists to have emerged in recent times."
    Daily Telegraph


  • English reviews
  • German reviews
  • Recording: American Chamber Music (Onyx)
    Copland Violin Sonata, Ives Largo for violin, clarinet and piano, Bernstein Piano Trio, Carter Elegy for viola and piano, Barber String Quartet / Seattle Chamber Music Society

    “[The Ehnes Quartet] gives a punchy performance of the String Quartet that Samuel Barber completed in 1936 while still in his mid twenties.

    This is the work that yielded up Barber’s most famous composition, the Adagio, which here assumes its proper place at the quartet’s core and creates a period of heartfelt tranquillity between the cut and thrust of the outer movements…

    Ehnes and Orion Weiss give a healthy, characterful, rhythmically buoyant account of Copland’s Violin Sonata, the violinist’s role being ceded to Amy Schwartz Moretti for Ives’s apprehensively wistful Largo… [Bernstein and Carter] complete an outstandingly played disc that offers a fascinating snapshot of what American composers were doing in realms of chamber music during the Thirties and Forties.”
    Daily Telegraph, September 2014

    "Ehnes presents a compelling programme of American chamber music: Copland's sonata emerges as a major piece, seldom heard; similarly Barber's quartet deserves to be heard complete in its original form more often. Shorter works by Bernstein, Ives and Carter are treated with equal care, rounding off an unmissable, beautifully recorded collection."
    Editor's Choice, Classical Music Magazine, October 2014

    BBC Proms / BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Søndergård / Walton Violin Concerto
    “One of my favourite things about the Proms is the silence the season’s best performances can produce. Thousands of people cram into the Royal Albert Hall every night, and they shuffle, cough and whisper like any other kind of audience. But every so often, it all dies away, and thousands of people lean in together to listen, so quiet that you can hear the patter of the rain on the roof far above your head.

    Such a moment occurred during Prom 35, as violinist James Ehnes returned to the stage after his superb rendition of Walton’s Violin Concerto to give an unscheduled encore. To a rapt crowd, he played the third movement of Bach’s second sonata for solo violin, carefully drawing out the spread chords to support the sonorous melody. The quieter he played, the harder the audience listened, and the more intense the silence surrounding his music became.”
    New Statesman, August 2014

    “The BBC National Orchestra of Wales turned its attention to Walton's Violin Concerto, played by the always-astonishing James Ehnes. This was a glorious performance that revelled in the Concerto's lyricism without becoming cloying. But the encore was simply spell-binding: Ehnes played the third movement from Bach's Second Sonata for solo violin as the whole Royal Albert Hall leaned in to listen.”
    BBC Music Magazine online, August 2014

    “The ultimate honours went to William Walton’s Violin Concerto and soloist James Ehnes. No matter how furious or tender the music, this Canadian phenomenon has a welcome lack of many a soloist’s “look at me” attitude. Ehnes draws you into his playing, inviting you to discover with the same wonder both the unknown and the familiar…

    What was so memorable was the common bond between Ehnes’s natural ease of playing and the Albert Hall’s unique Proms atmosphere, historical excellence and modern simplicity. This is a pretty light weight piece, but I knew for certain this was precisely how Walton wanted it played.

    A performance by Ehnes I am truly grateful I saw.”
    Express, August 2014

    Bartók Recording (Chandos)
    Contrasts BB 116, Sonatina BB 102a, Forty four Duos BB 104 / Michael Collins, Andrew Armstrong, Amy Schwartz Moretti

    “Although Bartók’s 44 Duos for two violins may have initially been conceived as a sequence of teaching pieces, such is the quality of the musical invention in these unpretentious miniatures that they prove equally satisfying for both listeners and performers. Certainly James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti make the best possible case for experiencing the entire cycle in one whole sweep. They maximise the amount of colour that can be squeezed out of the simplest two-part writing and sustain vibrant musical dialogue throughout. More importantly, both artists manage to encapsulate an amazing variety of moods… such is the brilliance and sensitivity of the playing that I hope these performers can be coaxed back into the studio to record other 20th-century works for this particular instrumental combination, such as Berg’s Adagio or Khachaturian’s Trio”
    BBC Music Magazine, five stars, August 2014

    “Bartók might have opted for the more apt ‘Confluences’, a word that more accurately reflects the music’s conversational quality. This point strikes home with particular force in this witty, slimline and, yes, profoundly conversational performance, agility being a constant virtue and with never a hint of one player stealing the limelight from another. The nocturnal shimmering of the middle movement, ‘Relaxation’, is conveyed with cut-glass precision, and the closing moments of the ‘Fast Dance’ last movement are brilliant in the extreme…

    The trick in performing all these pieces well is one of balance, making sure that the duetting element is respected down to even the tiniest detail. James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti are fully the equal of even their most illustrious rivals, their playing varied and characterful enough to make listening to any of the four books of Duos at a single sitting a real pleasure. A lovely programme.”
    Gramophone, August 2014

    “This third volume of James Ehnes’s survey of Bartók’s violin music opens with a performance of Contrasts marked by wonderful shaping, particularly in the silky contours of the first movement. The finale is at once precise and infused with devil-may-care exhilaration as the players chase each other’s tails, and Ehnes’s cadenza pulses with energy…

    The 44 Duos are treated with loving care. In the earlier, technically easier ones, the playing is suitably simple, with beautiful but understated sculpting of phrases…

    As Ehnes and Moretti progress through what is almost a catalogue of Eastern European folk-music styles, the playing is respectful, refined and faithful to every last detail.”
    The Strad, September 2014

    Khachaturian & Shostakovich Recording (Onyx)
    Khachaturian Violin Concerto and Shostakovich String Quartets Nos 7 & 8 / Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mark Wigglesworth, Ehnes Quartet

    “His [James Ehnes’s] recorded legacy so far testifies to a remarkable, penetrating and communicative talent.

    That talent is certainly manifest again here in Khachaturian’s Concerto. The playing is lissom, spicy and lyrically luminous, complemented by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s lithe rhythms and seductive colouring under Mark Wigglesworth. The Khachaturian of Spartacus and Gayaneh surfaces in the throbbing climaxes of the slow central movement, but this is a performance that abides by musical perspective while bringing a terrific sense of character to Khachaturian’s mix of exoticism and verve…

    The Ehnes Quartet has full measure of the music’s essential intimacy and pensive atmosphere, bringing also a sharply defined virtuosity to the nervy counterpoint and jarring dissonance in the Seventh Quartet’s finale and intense concentration coupled with arresting spontaneity to the narrative of the Eighth.”
    Gramophone, July 2014

    “James Ehnes emphasises its [Khachaturian Violin Concerto] lyrical trajectory with a golden outpouring of sound that suggests parallels with Scheherazade’s seductive spinning of tales. He solves the music’s not inconsiderable technical problems with effortless poise and precision – even the finale’s rampant moto perpetuo figurations are hoisted aloft with an exultant cantabile, enhanced by the gently cushioned engineering that convincingly replicates a concert-hall perspective…

    The ensemble’s [Ehnes Quartet] corporate technical and intonational security is exemplary, tonally well matched and without any suggestion of Ehnes heading the ensemble from the leader’s chair. Indeed, the pseudo-contrapuntal whirlwind that opens the finale of Shostakovich’s Seventh Quartet finds all four players hurling themselves into the musical fray with equal alacrity... these are deeply committed performances.”
    The Strad, July 2014

    “James Ehnes's total lack of inhibition is just what the work [Khachaturian] deserves, and this full-blooded performance is glorious. Ehnes can change mood with mercurial ease, the first movement's blustering cast aside when he reaches Khachaturian's glorious second subject. He's aided by a delicious oboe solo. As guilty pleasures go, this is up with the best of them… Approach this music with an open mind and you'll be dazzled and beguiled…

    Ehnes's own string quartet provide the couplings. Shostakovich's String Quartet No.7 is an underrated, poignant gem – a compact work dedicated to the memory of his first wife. The time span may be brief, but this feels like a much bigger work - a haunting, accessible statement. There's a vivid sense of loss, of bittersweet nostalgia, but the sentiment is never laid on with a trowel. The violence of the finale is a real shock in these players' hands, making the elegiac close more touching. The Eighth Quartet is more familiar – the opening paragraph given a welcome touch of warmth and humanity, the faster, sections dispatched with steely, reckless abandon. Fabulous, deep-toned cello playing from Robert deMaine adds to the impact of an earthy, profound performance.”
    The Arts Desk, June 2014

    “This disc of two Soviet contemporaries in which James Ehnes performs as soloist and as quartet leader marks another success for this formidable Canadian violinist. The Khachaturian concerto, full of oriental-Armenian folk motifs from the composers Tbilisi homeland, was written in 1940 for the great Odessa-born violinist David Oistrakh. Ehnes, here beadily accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (catch them at the Proms this year), communicates eloquently the energy and rhythmic adventure of the outer movements, while enjoying the almost mystical mood of the central Andante. With his own quartet he plays the Seventh and Eighth Quartets of Shostakovich, both performances pliant and powerful.”
    Guardian, five stars, June 2014

    Ehnes Quartet / Wigmore Hall / Beethoven, Suk, Bartok
    “Beethoven’s E flat major Quartet op. 74, the ‘Harp’, came first, the Sound well-upholstered, rich and full-toned but still clear in balance, texture and articulation. The introductory Poco adagio had meditative depth and spaciousness, and the ensuing Allegro had a prevailing elegance despite its outbursts of muscularity. Simple things were noteworthy, particularly the attention paid to Beethoven’s abrupt contrasts of dynamics. The slow movement was sublime, with fine playing from DeMaine, whose firm underpinning was a constant feature of the quartet’s sound. After the hell-for-leather Presto, the variations of the finale were a succession of vivid vignettes.

    In Josef Suk’s Meditation on an Old Bohemian Chorale (St Wenceslas) there was tough, vehement playing within the predominant lyricism. Bartók’s Third Quartet was performed with captivating purpose: beautiful, ferocious, delicate, propelled by dynamic energy and with the spirit of dance bubbling underneath. This long, complex paragraph was played with unfailing eloquence and, need it be said, technical brilliance.”
    The Strad, May 2014

    Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin / Vladimir Ashkenazy / Elgar Violin Concerto
    “There was thunderous applause at the end of the fifty-minute piece, as Canadian soloist James Ehnes has everything at his disposal: careful phrasing, colours, technique, a Stradivarius… Ehnes understands both introversion and brilliance.”
    Der Tagesspiegel, February 2014

    “Not only does James Ehnes play the entire piece in spotless fashion (extending even as far as his sometimes rather abruptly heated gestures), but he also displays an intense narrative tone which possesses the full qualities of an unmistakeable voice radiating an almost physical presence, enabling him to captivate the audience. It is a powerful tone, austere and a little nasal, extremely resilient on the middle strings, but at its most expressive in his high playing on the G string – never constricted – which shapes large stretches of this piece.”
    Berliner Zeitung, February 2014

    Tchaikovsky Recording (Chandos)
    Swan Lake Op. 20 / Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Neeme Järvi

    “Ehnes seems to embody Prince Siegfried, his playing by turns tender, poised and athletic. Simply heavenly doesn’t seem an out of place phrase to describe the chamber-like intimacy conveyed here.”
    Gramophone, March 2014

    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Donald Runnicles / Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1
    “At the heart of this concert by Donald Runnicles and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra was a staggeringly powerful performance of Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto, with playing so eloquent and direct from Canadian violinist James Ehnes that it almost eclipsed the rest of the programme…

    It was Ehnes's soulful, impeccable, engulfing Shostakovich that made this concert unforgettable. His control and range of colour were masterful: the sound was woody and dark, at turns urgent, mournful and vulnerable; and the long, troubled phrases that underpin the Concerto unfurled as if without a beginning or an end. The cadenza was devastatingly frank and seemed to consume him. The orchestra responded with icy quiet passages, heartbreaking tenderness in the passacaglia and flashes of hot brutality. The performance prompted a rare standing ovation, and rightly so.”
    Guardian, December 2013

    “It was the Shostakovich Concerto – or, more specifically, Canadian violinist James Ehnes’s astonishingly intense performance – that proved the evening’s revelation. It’s one of the Soviet composer’s “for the drawer” works – written as Shostakovich was coming under attack for anti-state formalism by Stalin's Politburo henchmen, hence hidden and only revealed once artistic conditions had thawed a little.

    And with its unremittingly bleak, grotesque music, it’s hardly the most immediately approachable concerto – which made Ehnes’s unforgettable performance all the more remarkable.

    He plotted the course of the first-movement Nocturne’s endless melody with expert precision, and seemed to deliver the bitterly ironic second-movement Scherzo – full of violin pyrotechnics, which he negotiated with calm brilliance – through gritted teeth. He was unshowy yet technically flawless, and he offered the music with touching sincerity and a deep seriousness.

    There are few violinists around who can make that concerto speak so directly – no wonder the audience was on its feet at the end.”
    Daily Telegraph, December 2013

    “So when they do jump to their feet it has to have been for something extra special, which itself is almost too feeble a way to describe the performance last night by Canadian soloist James Ehnes of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No 1, under the baton of Donald Runnicles.

    It was the centrepiece of a substantial programme – surrounded either side by Beethoven’s Symphony No 4 and John Adams’ City Noir – but in its own right was an entirely consuming experience in every possible sense. From the aching rumination of the opening nocturne to the dizzy exuberance of the finale, Ehnes’ vast and effortless mahogany tone cut a swathe that breathed soul and character into every moment.

    There was devilish excitement in the scherzo, suppressed ecstasy in the slow inexorability of the passacaglia, and jaw-dropping virtuosity in the absorbing cadenza.”
    Scotsman, December 2013

    Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Chicago Symphony Center / Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1
    “James Ehnes is a superb artist and a musician of great taste and technical polish. Rarely will one hear this music played with such spot-on intonation and technical gleam. The soloist hurdled all the work’s myriad complexities with ease, and the barnstorming bravura was dashed off with pinpoint precision.”
    Chicago Classical Review, December 2013

    “Ehnes is an artist I've long admired and it was easy to understand why the audience, orchestra and Deneve himself applauded his Shostakovich so heartily: You won't hear this music played more skillfully than here. The soloist drew you into this 1948 masterwork with the silken tone and poised elegance he brought to the opening Nocturne, and he had the crowd jumping to its feet following the giddy Burlesque finale, which he took at a death-defying clip without missing a note.”
    Chicago Tribune, December 2013

    Toronto Symphony / Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto / Britten Violin Concerto
    “If there were a Nobel Prize for violin, I would nominate James Ehnes. His playing of Britten’s Violin Concerto with the Toronto Symphony was drenched with emotions – pathos, irony, lamentation, sarcasm, tenderness and bliss – displayed and at the same time bounded by the discipline of his virtuosity, that like a diamond, radiated brilliance without attracting attention to itself...

    Ehnes is also a study in contrasts, in that while his violin weeps, or skylarks to sul ponticello heights, or scatters sprays of pizzicati, or scrapes broken bursts of single- and double-stopped zigs and zags, or skitters up and down scales both melodic and dissonant, his demeanor never changes, his posture never abandons discipline. Only his instrument speaks. One finds oneself bathed in the pleasure of the specific emotions Britten’s music invokes with a general sense of also being buoyed by admiration of the boundless talent Ehnes shares. For the most serendipitous moment of unimaginable pleasure in this performance, I would choose a passage midway through the second movement where the flawless whistle of Ehnes’ violin merged invisibly with the voice of the piccolo.”
    Bachtrack, October 2013

    Prokofiev Recording (Chandos)
    Complete Works for Violin (Violin Concertos Nos.1 & 2, Sonata for Two Violins, Sonata for Solo Violin, Sonatas Nos.1 & 2, Five Melodies) / BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda / Andrew Armstrong, Amy Schwartz Moretti

    “This is not quite the first set by a single soloist of Prokofiev’s violin works… but it is certainly the most enticing. I have not heard such a beautiful performance of the First Violin Concerto Since Itzhak Perlman’s 1982 EMI recording, and Ehnes enjoys the advantage of a more natural balance with the orchestra, so one can really hear the detail of Prokofiev’s finely scored and inspired orchestration. There is the vernal beauty of the various settings of the opening theme on its return at the end of the first and final movements; and the gossamer-light scherzo dances, full of child-like energy and excitement…A real winner.”
    BBC Music Magazine, five stars, November 2013

    “James Ehnes’s particular combination of matchless virtuosity, sweet tone, flowing tempi and interpretative restraint suits all this music down to the ground”.
    Gramophone, October 2013

    “[Noseda’s] Russian immersion lends dividends…to Ehnes’s sizzling accounts of the two popular concertos. Just as compelling are the chamber works: the Second Sonata, composed first, is a transcription of the wistful, witty Flute Sonata; the later work in F minor, No.1, is a brooding masterpiece that looks forward to late Shostakovich. Ehnes and his pianist give performances worthy of the giants (Oistrakh and Richter) for whom their parts were conceived.”
    Sunday Times, September 2013

    “Wow. Everything works here. James Ehnes rarely disappoints, and the playing on this beautifully recorded two-disc set is immaculate. It’s not just the musicality, the remarkable ability to give shape and colour to the thorniest solo writing, but his modesty – he’s a player who knows exactly when to step back and let collaborators take the spotlight. You hear that in these readings of the two Prokofiev violin concertos. Ehnes begins the Concerto No 1’s rapturous cantilena with nonchalant grace. The effect is totally unselfconscious, and the same thing happens in the G minor concerto’s Andante assai, as if Ehnes doesn’t want to shift attention away from Prokofiev’s quirky staccato clarinet line. It helps that the accompaniments are so idiomatic – Gianandrea Noseda’s lithe, lean-toned BBC Philharmonic are superb partners. Listen to the quirky tick-tocking which opens the first concerto’s final movement and marvel at how Ehnes floats slyly above. Both performances are fabulous, and among the best you’ll hear.

    What makes this set essential are the couplings; we get all of Prokofiev’s solo violin music. The Op.56 Sonata for two violins has Ehnes teamed with Amy Schwartz Moretti. The music’s clean, neo-classical contours are boldly projected, and there’s a rare sense of fun…Unmissable.”
    The Arts Desk, September 2013

    “Ehnes is joined by Amy Schwartz Moretti for an electrifying performance of the duo sonata… In their mix of lyricism and sharp-edged rhythmic and harmonic piquancy, Ehnes and Moretti are absolutely spot on in defining the music’s character. This is playing that truly grabs you by the scruff of the neck and commands attention.”
    Daily Telegraph, five stars, October 2013

    Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival / Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Ravel / Andrew Armstrong
    “Sublime? No, that’s not the word. In fact, is there a word that can begin to do justice to James Ehnes’ rendition of the Bach Partita in D minor Tuesday evening? Yes, the one that ends in the mighty Chaconne, one of the most noble works of music ever conceived.

    James Ehnes is among the world’s finest violinists. Several commentators have compared him to Heifetz and the comparison is not an exaggeration. His technique is clean and brilliant and his musicality is jaw-dropping…

    There was much to smile about all evening, but never quite as much as during the partita. If one didn’t smile during the performance, especially during the Chaconne, most people will do so inwardly for years to come. The big, rich and infinitely subtle sounds he made with his Ex Marsick Stradivarius was majestic and, well, the performance of every movement was deeply satisfying, but the Chaconne was beyond praise, or at least any words of praise that I know. And although standing ovations are a dime a dozen, it’s unusual for the audience to be on its feet within five or six seconds of the music’s end.”
    Ottawa Citizen, August 2013

    Britten and Shostakovich Recording (Onyx)
    Britten Violin Concerto op.15 and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 op.77 / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirill Karabits
    “Technical mastery of a very difficult score, total conviction and narrative strength stand out here…

    This superb performance [of the Britten] is coupled with one of the finest modern performances of Shostakovich’s glorious A minor Concerto that I have ever heard…

    You will need to go back to one of David Oistrakh’s many performances to find anything to rival the near-deranged wildness of the second movement here, with some astonishing playing in the stratosphere and a closing passage that will have you out of your seat. The soloist’s beautiful, singing reply to the baleful introduction to the third movement brings just a little hope: and at a nicely flowing tempo this ray of light is maintained throughout… The inspired cadenza is dispatched with stunning virtuosity, leading into a finale where the tension is screwed up, notch by notch, to an almost unbearable degree. The final pages are as exciting as Oistrakh’s, and praise doesn’t come much higher than that.”
    International Record Review, September 2013

    “Everything hits the mark here. The incisive, virtuosic orchestral backing from Kirill Karabits' Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is a perfect foil for James Ehnes’ jaw-dropping solo playing. The Britten has never opened with such cool poise; a few timpani and cymbal strokes, and a success of quizzical, sighing string chords pave the way for Ehnes’ entry. It’s already a startling, potent melody, but hearing how Ehnes shapes it, carefully turning the screw until we reach the first orchestral tutti is the stuff of record critics’ dreams. Or that hushed dialogue between soloist, timps and hushed strings five minutes into the movement. It's sublime... The sardonic scherzo is a blast, but it’s the closing passacaglia which carries the greatest weight. You half hope that the work will end happily, but Britten’s doleful trombone theme signals that things won’t go well. I’ve never been so gripped by this work, and Ehnes nails the heartbreak, the frustration in the ambivalent final minutes. Possibly the greatest recording that this concerto has received.

    Ehnes’s Shostakovich is just as good. The opening Nocturne unfolds with dark stealth, and the third movement Passacaglia plumbs alarming depths. So it’s such a relief, after a brilliantly played cadenza, to reach a Burlesque finale which at last closes proceedings in a mood of optimism. Karabits’ Bournemouth winds scream out in defiance, and the orchestral strings send up clouds of smoke. Everything works, and the recording is transparent and well balanced. Essential listening.”
    The Arts Desk, June 2013

    “This new coupling [of the Britten Violin Concerto] with Shostakovich’s First Concerto by James Ehnes and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits is of a particularly distinguished stature.

    Ehnes’s versatility as a violinist has been demonstrated through an impressive range of CDs, but the more important quality that emerges from them all is his deep affinity with the style of the music, however diverse, that he is playing. The same is signally true of these two concertos.

    Both works have a marked seriousness and expressive weight about them. Virtuosity is not exploited in any facile, ingratiating way but rather to intensify the substance of the music. Ehnes has full measure of it and of its eloquent application... In both of them, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra adds compelling force and colour, Ehnes’s range and inflections of tone and his mature spectrum of interpretation gauged with exceptional insight. The partnership between Ehnes, Karabits and the BSO comes across as a true meeting of minds, and these outstanding performances cannot be recommended highly enough.”
    Daily Telegraph, June 2013

    “It is a mystery why Ehnes is not more well-known in Germany. He does not have to hide behind the Zimmermanns, Tetzlaffs and Kavakosses of this world. This is something proved again by his new CD...James Ehnes should play a more important role here in Germany.”
    NDR Kultur, June 2013

    “These inspired performances are subtle and persuasive as well as fiery. James Ehnes plays with a powerful lyricism which makes the complexities melt away.”
    The Observer, June 2013

    “James Ehnes’s mastery is breathtaking in both works... every double-stopped chord and octave gleams, every demi-semi quaver rings true, which is not to detract from the profound sincerity of his performance.”
    BBC Music Magazine, five stars, July 2013

    “James Ehnes’s sinewy tonal lustre, dazzling technique and Perlman-like ability to soar whenever a decent melody comes along, works wonders in the Britten. If such fine interpreters as Rodney Friend and Ida Haendel have in the past leaned more disturbingly towards the ‘dark side’ of Britten’s creative psyche, by revelling in the music’s virtuoso élan, Ehnes proves beyond a doubt that the Violin Concerto deserves an honoured place alongside those by Elgar and Walton.”
    Sinfini Music, June 2013

    “Two fantastic concertos and one outstanding violinist: what’s not to like about this stunning coupling of Britten’s biting, Spanish-flavoured 1938 Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s sweetly pungent Violin Concerto No.1 of a decade later, featuring the violinist James Ehnes?

    The solo playing is immaculate, Ehnes combining power and intensity with a quality of tone that is molten, luscious and superbly consistent... this is a disc that presents serious stuff in a lustrous, compelling way.”
    The Scotsman, May 2013

    “I never cease to listen in awe at the supernatural control violinist James Ehnes has over his bow. His latest album, featuring the Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich concertos with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra... commands instant and total respect.

    This Onyx release with conductor Kirill Karabits puts Ehnes in the position of having to be at once strong and delicate, lyrical as well as dispassionate, cool but not devoid of humanity. And somehow all of these emotional attributes need to both inform and be conjured by finely tuned physical movements. Ehnes is brilliant on all counts...”
    Musical Toronto, May 2013

    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Bridgewater Hall / Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2
    “Canadian violinist James Ehnes and Gianandrea Noseda, now the BBC Philharmonic's conductor laureate, have become something of a partnership of choice as far as the 20th-century violin concerto is concerned. After notable successes, both live and on disc, with Bartók, they've turned their attention to Prokofiev, whose Second Violin Concerto, flanked by music by Rossini and Stravinsky, formed the centrepiece of this exceptional concert that found both of them at their best.

    Ehnes's no-frills approach works wonders with Prokofiev. The sombre first movement, by turns barbed and lyrical, was beautifully understated, and its tricky combination of harmonic bitterness, muted virtuosity and melodic expansion flawlessly judged. The finale, with its biting folk rhythms and pungent dissonances, was weighty, witty and sharply focused. The work's chief glory, however, is the central Andante, with its slowly unfolding melody, which ranks among the most ravishing things in Prokofiev's entire output. Ehnes delivered it with exquisite poise.”
    The Guardian, February 2013

    Bartok Recording (Chandos)
    Solo Violin Sonata Sz117, Violin Sonata Sz20, Hungarian Dances, Hungarian Folk Tunes, Romanian Folk Dances / Andrew Armstrong

    “James Ehnes’s Bartok is full of emotional intensity and he meticulously follows the composer’s dynamics and fluctuations. The technical demands of the Solo Sonata evaporate in a performance of stunning virtuosity and Ehnes reminds us how the choral structure reveals the debt that Bartok owed to Bach. The opening ciaccona is played with unfailing accuracy of intonation. On reaching the third movement, Ehnes caresses the strings with more beauty than most, before moving into an electrifying account of the finale’s opening Presto.”
    The Strad, April 2013

    “Ehnes gives a stunning account of the Solo Sonata. The impression is that he’s simply following all Bartok’s meticulous direction – bowing, dynamics, modifications of tempo – and adding nothing extra. If that seems boring, the effect is anything but: clarity of articulation, beauty of sound, the ease with which he surmounts the technical challenges, and deep understanding of the work’s structure and character; all these combine to make a performance that’s exciting and enthralling …

    The three suites of folk pieces are performed in authentic style and with irresistible panache. If anyone doubts Ehnes’s status as a wizard of the violin, they should listen to the way he plays the harmonics.”
    Gramophone, January 2013

    “So far in his amazing career, Brandon, Man., native James Ehnes has turned into gold every note touched by his violin bow. His second album devoted to the music of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881-1945) is nothing short of spectacular. The attraction of Bartók’s music is that you can enjoy the late-Romantic side as well something more modern... Ehnes has his feet firmly planted on the earthiness of the folk elements as he tosses off this virtuosic music with panache… This album is a wonder from beginning to end.”
    Toronto Star, January 2013

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Colston Hall, Bristol / Britten Violin Concerto
    “Ehnes’s sound had the beauty of burnished steel as he roamed the stratosphere, the poise of his playing complementing the poise of this music which might have been written to show off his talents, for his sound is absolutely Protean.

    Required in the Scherzo to swoop and slide like a Transylvanian village fiddler, he went on to deliver a brilliant cadenza, musingly at first and then catching fire, before ushering in the majestically sweeping threnody of the Passacaglia. Here he dazzled, going through a series of duets with different instruments using a different timbre each time, making quick-fire contrasts between legato and pizzicato, at one point effortlessly bowing a leaping melody on one string while plucking another, and finally making his instrument speak with two voices, one low and richly sonorous and the other high and pure, and in the latter mode drifting off into space.”
    The Independent, December 2012

    “The arrival of violinist James Ehnes lofted the evening to a higher plane. He played the concerto by Benjamin Britten, one of those brittle pieces from the 1930s… In this performance you could almost believe the piece had a heart, thanks to the beauteously radiant tone and razor-sharp tuning Ehnes brought to it. Thanks to him, and the similarly immaculate orchestral playing, the aloof quality of the closing Passacaglia seemed nobly restrained rather than merely cool.”
    The Daily Telegraph, Ivan Hewett, December 2012

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Poole Lighthouse / Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1
    “The heart of the concert was an extraordinary performance of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No.1 with the brilliant James Ehnes as soloist. Apparently encountering no technical problems in this hazardously difficult work, Ehnes transmitted its mood of bitter melancholy and dry-eyed grief with alert, responsive support from the orchestra.”
    The Observer, December 2012

    London Symphony Orchestra / Lincoln Center New York / Brahms Violin Concerto
    “Mr. Ehnes teamed with Mr. Gergiev for a spacious and calmly intense account of the Violin Concerto. Mr. Ehnes has technical brilliance to spare, but there was not a trace of flashiness in his majestic, poetic and transparent playing.”
    New York Times, October 2012

    International Beethoven Project, Chicago / Beethoven Violin Concerto
    “Ehnes chose a smart tempo, avoiding many of the fussy mannerisms that have accumulated in this mammoth concerto over the centuries. The sweet lyricism of his second movement soared into every corner of the hall, and expressions of deep appreciation could be seen on patrons and musicians alike. I don’t recall ever hearing a more probing, intelligent, and moving account of this warhorse.”
    Chicago Classical Review, September 2012

    Ehnes Quartet / Seattle Chamber Music Summer Festival / Ravel
    “Sunny, shimmering and subtle, the Ravel String Quartet in F Major wound up the program with a performance that was just flat-out beautiful... With a patrician lead from Ehnes, and urgent, committed playing from the ensemble, each movement of the Ravel was like another twist of an exotic kaleidoscope. The near-capacity audience stood and cheered, grateful to be in the house on such a shining night.”
    Seattle Times, July 2012

    Seattle Chamber Music Summer Festival / Bartok Violin Sonata No. 1
    “Ehnes just goes from strength to strength as a violinist; he's better every year. In the Bartok, he changed the focus of his sound the way a photographer adjusts an image from hazy to sharp and back again. The ruminative Adagio sounded like an extended meditation, personal and spontaneous. In the hair-raising wild ride of the blazing final Allegro, Ehnes at one point briefly examined his violin, and one wondered if he were looking for scorch marks... The audience leapt up with the kind of ovation that only follows a really electrifying performance.”
    Seattle Times, July 2012

    Ehnes Quartet / Montreal Chamber Music Festival / Ravel
    “The achievement went beyond individual and collective playing which was irreproachable from beginning to end. It was astonishing not only for the beauty produced by the four bows but even more on the level of expression attained in so little time by the four members. What talent, intelligence and sensitivity. The expressive nuances in the tempo, the invitations to lyricism or agitation: everything was fully interpreted.”
    La Presse, May 2012

    “Before a large and enthusiastic Montreal Chamber Music Festival audience in St. George's Church, Ehnes showed that a great virtuoso can also be a sensitive chamber music soul.

    The program concluded with the Canadian debut of Ehnes' recently-formed quartet (Ehnes, deMaine, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, and violist Richard O’Neill) in an exceptional performance of Ravel's String Quartet, which signaled an important new force in the chamber music arena(…)

    The quartet laid out the score so finely in synch with each other it was as if they were an extension of Ehnes' own sound and phrasing.

    Make no mistake, this was definitely the playing of an ensemble: the big pizz sections in the second movement made one anticipate eagerly what a performance of Beethoven's Harp Quartet might be like; the stroked and pizzicato chords under the viola solo in the third movement were magically judged; their trills in the same movement unexpectedly recalled the most intimate moments of Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice; and the ending was a thing of quietly ravishing, silken beauty.

    Throughout, Ehnes' presence and leadership recalled the virtues of other great virtuoso-led quartets—the Busch and Oistrakh Quartets, especially—where, at key moments, his exceptional voice emerged from the ensemble to provide the kind of high-voltage thrills that are so rare with conventionally-constituted quartets and which reward both the audience and the composer.”
    Strings, May 2012

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Stéphane Denève / Barber Violin Concerto
    “The Barber concerto, with its delicious melodies and alluringly sweet naïvety, was a stunning showcase for Ehnes, whose effortless musicality, immaculate technique and molten tone production captured every nuance.

    After the sizzling finale came two show-stopping encores of Paganini (the famous Caprice No 24) and unaccompanied Bach. Superlative.”
    The Scotsman, May 2012

    “It helps when [Barber’s Violin Concerto] is played by James Ehnes, a violinist of the very highest order. His technique is flawless and often breathtaking (he showcased it in encores of two of Paganini’s Caprices) but I love the simplicity of his playing style, direct and unfussy, refusing to hog the limelight. He plays with modest brilliance, a flawless line of melody gushing from his instrument, most impressive of all when the violin finally gets round to playing the main theme of the second movement, played here with all the deep richness of mahogany.”
    Seen and Heard International, May 2012

    “There was a definite sense of occasion to Denève's second-last programme as music director of the RNSO – not least thanks to the stellar presence of Canadian violinist James Ehnes…

    His account of Barber's Violin Concerto was earnest and searching and extremely moving, not the blithe Americana some make the piece. He was generous spirited, too, with two encores: Paganini's 24th Caprice – oodles of notes but not a single one misplaced – and, highlight of the evening, a radiant and peaceful third movement of Bach's third solo sonata.”
    The Herald, May 2012

    Bartok Recording (Chandos)
    Violin Sonata nos.1 & 2, Rhapsodies nos.1 & 2, Andante in A major / Andrew Armstrong

    “James Ehnes brings to the two rhapsodies a superheated tonal intensity. He can be delicate of course, and has real rhythmic bite, but this is red-blooded playing, the bow quarrying into the string to match the rich and varied vibrato, and when Ehnes is in full flow high on the G string or dashing off handfuls of double-stops it’s thrilling stuff.

    He and Andrew Armstrong spar tremendously through this tough and lengthy work, covering an extensive expressive and emotional range. The quiet central section of the first movement inhabits a strange, musing landscape of fluent, uneasy melodic shapes and figurations. From the long unaccompanied opening of the Adagio onwards, Ehnes weaves Bartók’s extended lines like spells. The hectic finale is terrific.

    The less dense, astringent Second Sonata is full of beauty and nuanced tonal eloquence; the details captivate and have great cumulative power. The delightful early Andante provides a refreshing sorbet.”
    The Strad, April 2012

    Tchaikovsky Recording (Onyx)
    Violin Concerto in D Op.35, Sérénade mélancolique, Valse-scherzo, Souvenir d’un lieu cher / Sydney Symphony Orchestra / Vladimir Ashkenazy

    “The soloist is the wondrous James Ehnes, a thinker of the violin as well as a supreme virtuoso of the instrument. Listen to his mellifluous, muted line in the central canzonetta, his natural lyricism imbued with apt, reflective colours, and you experience an artist of the first order.

    Ashkenazy also paints a discreet backdrop here, focusing subtly on individual instrumental timbres in a way that complements Ehnes’s approach ideally. Ehnes is not a violinist to use bravura as an end in itself.

    His dexterity is a marvel of lightness and precision in the finale, but it is consistently aimed towards a musical goal, the range of tone beautifully judged and, as in the first movement, the structure and direction kept in clear view. This is a consummate performance, supplemented here by the poignant Sérénade mélancolique, the buoyant Valse scherzo and, with Ashkenazy as pianist, the Souvenir d’un lieu cher. All in all, the disc makes a fine start to 2012.”
    The Daily Telegraph, January 2012

    Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Louis Langrée / Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3
    “Ehnes’s tone is notably beautiful, with its pitch-perfect attack, roundedness and consistent gleam. This artist knows how to make individual phrases memorable within long, cogently thought-through musical paragraphs, giving the kind of light-filled reading that made one want to hear him in all five of the Mozart concertos.”
    The Washington Post, October 2011

    Bartok Recording (Chandos)
    Violin Concertos No. 1 & No.2, Viola Concerto / BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda
    “James Ehnes offers us the most ‘Heifetzian’ recording yet, a vibrant, tender-hearted, boisterously youthful account... The alternation of serenity and dizzying, up-tempo mood-swings has rarely been more securely focused. I can’t think of a finer CD version of the First Concerto than this...

    I challenge any reader to name a version that is either more moving or more beautifully played.”
    Gramophone Magazine, Recording of the Month, November 2011

    “Ehnes plays it with astonishing command – even the most fearsome passages glisten, clear and immaculate. The first movement is a joyful experience, full of energy, laced through with sublime beauty. The second is wonderfully shaped, its phrasing intimate and vocal, while the faster central section is a weightless dance. The twists and turns of the finale are taken with grace and fluency, and the whole bubbles with infectious glee.”
    The Strad, Recommended, November 2011

    “Chandos could not have chosen a more ideal team for this project than James Ehnes, Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic.

    Here they demonstrate an instinctive understanding for the different musical characteristics of each work... While encapsulating these distinctive emotional worlds, they nonetheless maintain a tight grip over the music’s structural direction. In the first movement of the Concerto No. 1, Ehnes’s supple phrasing of the opening melodic line, followed by the beautifully veiled orchestral accompaniment, sets up a great sense of expectancy. It is sustained throughout the movement as both soloist and conductor patiently build up the intensity to the final climax.”
    BBC Music Magazine, five stars, October 2011

    “This is a new Bartók disc that clearly deserves serious attention... Ehnes phrases the opening paragraph [of the Second Concerto] so beguilingly, and brings real character to a movement that can become unduly discursive in less imaginative hands...

    Ehnes’s unaccompanied opening [of the First Concerto] is beautifully posed... the long lyrical lines of the first movement are wonderfully conveyed, and in the ensuing Allegro giocoso Ehnes is excitingly committed... This is one of the best recent recordings I’ve heard of this Viola Concerto, wholly alert to its moments of capriciousness and drama as well as its poetry.”
    International Record Review, September 2011

    “The opening folk-inflected melody is beautifully unfurled by Ehnes in a performance that, throughout, is ear-catchingly alert to the music’s range of tonal shading, its abrupt switches of pace and mood, its powerful bravura and its pungent lyricism... This whole disc, tracing three periods of Bartók’s career up to the final Viola Concerto gives a remarkable insight into Bartók’s compositional individuality in performances of captivating artistry.”
    Daily Telegraph, five stars, September 2011

    “His sinewy, lean tone is perfect for the mature Bartok’s stark, rebarbative harmonic language, yet he perceives the lyrical, folkloric vein that runs through the composer’s greatest masterpieces. Ehnes makes the attractive but uncharacteristic early concerto worth hearing, but he really warms to the late lyrical manner Bartok adopted for the Viola Concerto."
    The Sunday Times, CD of the week, September 2011

    “This persuasive and sweet-toned Canadian violinist could probably draw honey from the most waspish dissonance... Ehnes enjoys the lushness of its [First Violin Concerto] opening movement, his wistful portamenti evoking what Bartok described as "times that were happy even if only half-happiness"... Throughout, soloist and orchestra, under the baton of the marvellous Gianandrea Noseda, make clarity and precision their priority.
    New Zealand Herald, September 2011

    Houston Symphony Orchestra / Hans Graf / Brahms Violin Concerto
    “Grammy-winning Canadian violin virtuoso James Ehnes and the Houston Symphony, under maestro Hans Graf, dazzled a packed house with a sterling rendition of Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto...

    Ehnes again proved notable not only for technical proficiency, but also for the warmth and understanding of his playing. His decisive bowing and precise attack lent definition and drama to the work's more emphatic statements, and he flew through the trickiest effects with alacrity and ease. Yet the delicacy and restraint of his pianissimo moments proved just as impressive.

    He was at his most expressive in the adagio, his graceful phrasing and soulful tone lending an elegiac quality. He gave the right zest and exuberance to the finale, whose main theme advances by leaps and bounds.

    Called back by the audience for his fourth curtain call, Ehnes graciously obliged with an encore, zipping through the intricacies of Niccolo Paganini's Caprice No. 16 with dash and panache.”
    Houston Chronicle, September 2011

    Tivoli Festival Orchestra / Mario Venzago / Brahms Concerto
    "Brahms' Violin Concerto had fire and soul with James Ehnes in the solo role.”

    “Ehnes delivered a thoroughly musical and well-formed interpretation of the Brahms. With his brilliant tone and rubato, he was followed closely by the orchestra.”

    “James Ehnes's tone is in a class of its own ... A few years ago Ehnes released a CD on which he played all the violins in the Fulton Collection and demonstrated the tonal differences between the instruments. In his encore, he showed how different just one instrument can sound, dark and delicate in the slow movement of one of Bach's solo sonatas compared with the strong and extrovert Brahms concerto."
    kpn.dk, June 2011

    Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Marin Alsop
    Bartok Concerto No. 1 / Beethoven Romance No. 1

    "Canadian violinist James Ehnes is a star in on the ascendant, who with a balanced vibrato drew poetry from the intimate solo line. Technique and musicality were beautifully matched in the more lively final movement...”

    “After the interval, Ehnes impressed with a stylish performance of Beethoven's Romance No. 1 for violin and orchestra."
    Svenska Dagblad, May 2011

    Mendelssohn Recording (Onyx)
    Violin Concerto / Philharmonia Orchestra / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Octet / Seattle Chamber Music Society

    “Bringing something new to established repertoire: surely that’s the ultimate test of any artist. If so, James Ehnes has done it again.

    The first thing that hits you about Ehnes’s reading is the rhythmic propulsion of the concerto’s outer movements, revealing its glorious bone structure. In the hands of lesser musicians than Ehnes and Ashkenazy this could simply sound fast, yet there is so much compelling, beautifully observed phrasing that the effect is instead completely uplifting. It’s there again in the first movement of the Octet, and once more the sense is of a joyous, exhilarating ride rather than anything overly driven. Ehnes is a musician of consummate imagination (and technique!) coupled with a lack of ego that is completely winning. Just sample the way he and his Seattle Chamber Music colleagues judge the coda of the Octet’s Allegro moderato ma con fuoco. Con fuoco indeed.

    Another aspect which is particularly winning is the creaminess of Ehnes’ lower register, so you really appreciate the lows (literally) as well as the highs in the Concerto. The Andante movements of both works are characterised by a caressing but never cloying approach. This is absolutely up there with the best of them.

    As for the Octet, sample the Scherzo and see if you’re not won over. Of course, everyone has their own favourite in this much-recorded work, but I certainly don’t plan to live without this new version.”
    Editor’s Choice, Gramophone, February 2011

    “From his very first entry in the Concerto, James Ehnes draws us into Mendelssohn’s magic world of simplicity, melancholy and elegance. From here the virtuoso passages grow organically – they feel right, as though they could not conceivably be other than they are. Of course Mendelssohn must take credit for some of this. But Ehnes, eschewing flashiness or vulgarity and never, for instance, indulging in changes of bowing just to show what he can do, shows us the ‘restrained Romanticism’ which, according to André Gide, lies at the true heart of Classicism. Vladimir Ashkenazy allows him some liberty over tempo in the first movement , especially with the preparation and delivery of the second subject, but nothing that obstructs the flow of ideas. Together their draw a long line through this reflective section, leading with unassailable logic to Ehnes’ climactic high A, before we return to the energy of the opening. The Andante is, happily, not taken as an Adagio, and there is sparkle aplenty in the finale. Throughout, Ehnes’ sweet, unforced tone in a pure delight.

    In the Octet, he leads a fine ensemble, fully alive to the mercurial with of the Scherzo and, at the other extreme, to the emotional depth of the Andante.”
    Orchestral Choice, BBC Music Magazine, January 2011

    “James Ehnes consolidates his position as one of the most sublime and stylish of musicians on this new recording of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, coupled with a performance of the Octet, in which Ehnes is joined by members of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

    Ehnes’s gorgeous, supple tone is combined with that instinct for a composer’s distinctive character that makes his interpretations so compelling. The finely spun lyrical lines of the central slow movement are played with unaffected but subtle beauty, complemented by the eloquence of phrasing in the Philharmonia Orchestra.

    Ashkenazy conducts with delicacy and strength, the translucence of the orchestral sonority proving the ideal foil for Ehnes’s refined conception of the piece. His deft finger-work in the outer movements is spot on, but, as always, the technical aspects of articulating the concerto are put at the service of expressive feeling. Nothing is overdone; nor are the charm and spirit of the concerto understated. Ehnes’s innate sensibility draws him into the music’s milieu for a performance that is outstanding and unreservedly recommended.

    To have Mendelssohn’s precociously gifted Octet of 1825 as a companion piece makes it even more attractive, especially when it is played with such taste and zest.”
    CD of the week, five stars, Daily Telegraph, November 2010

    “Brisk tempi mark out James Ehnes's reading of Mendelssohn's perennial concerto; there is nothing cloying or sentimental, even in the luscious slow movement where lesser violinists are tempted to wallow. Instead, he gives a beautifully sincere, unaffected performance, with Ashkenazy restricting the Philharmonia to the lightest of accompaniment. And Ehnes joins other north American string players in a fizzing account of the glorious Octet, written by the wildly precocious Mendelssohn at the age of 16 – without a trace of teenage angst.”
    The Guardian, November 2010

    “If I were to try to make a music-lover of someone, I think I would put this recording under his Christmas tree. The clarity, directness, and natural elegance of James Ehnes are so in line with the Mendelssohn concerto that it seems like a simple and obvious fit.

    What is most admirable with this Canadian violinist is the way he has of ‘knowing’ everything without having to prove he ‘knows everything’. There is no ego in his playing. One finds the luminous playing of a Szeryng, but embodied by a ‘nice guy’ (a quality that one would never ascribe to the deceased Pole). The sublime 2nd movement, Andante, flows seamlessly, and the Finale, whose lightness is emphasized by several skillful applications of the bow.

    And if I don’t exchange my copy of the Octet, a Praga recording by the Prazak and Kocian Quartets, I would certainly not deny this wonderful CD a 10/10. Ehnes and his friends, among them the Concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the viola solo of the New York Philharmonic, present a vision that is very ‘ensemble with principal violin’, a perspective one rarely finds. Among the other ‘originalities’, the pale colour of the Andante and the fury of the Presto, that cast a shade over the more famous Scherzo, played with a lightness that recalls A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Octet is surprising, certainly, but stimulating with its inspired outlook and new perspective.”
    ClassicsTodayFrance.com, November 2010

    London Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda / Bartok Concerto No.2
    “James Ehnes, a powerful, eloquent and self-controlled player, might have been born to play Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto. In his performance with the London Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda all the elements of the composer’s language were present, the warmth and yearning of the extended melodies, the aggression, the folk-like naivety, the sheer fluency of it all. Over all, Ehnes had the élan to carry off the virtuosity with a flourish, and often to absorb the technical demands into playing of disarming simplicity. More than this, the performance was a great partnership between soloist and orchestra, with Ehnes blending neatly among wind and brass, passing phrases to and fro in discursive, collegiate fashion, in places dominating and in others almost insouciant. It was a performance of beauty, energy and poetry.”
    The Strad, January 2011

    “a powerfully conceived and highly cohesive interpretation...Ehnes is a virtuoso of the first rank."
    ClassicalSource.com, October 2010

    BBC Scottish Symphony at the Vienna Konzerthaus / Donald Runnicles / Brahms Concerto
    "The celebrated Konzerthaus debut of violinist James Ehnes...one will not soon experience a more organic interaction of soloist and orchestra"
    Die Presse, October 2010

    BBC Philharmonic / Gianandrea Noseda / Bartok Concerto No.1
    "James Ehnes delivered Bartok's First Violin Concerto with an unflappable authority"
    Daily Telegraph, November 2010

    Royal Liverpool Philharmonic / Vasily Petrenko / Mendelssohn Concerto
    “The Canadian delivered a lustrous, lyrical performance, eking the sweetest of tones from his 300-year-old Stradivarius which he maintained throughout even the briskest of passages"
    Liverpool Echo, November 2010

    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons / Elgar Concerto
    “Rapport between Nelsons, the orchestra and soloist James Ehnes was miraculous, Ehnes singing a seamless song of wistful regret, his accompanists with him every step of this marathon way"
    Birmingham Post, November 2010

    BBC Proms: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda / Bruch Concerto No.1
    “The hall was packed on 13 August for another showstopper – Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, played by James Ehnes with Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic. Ehnes’s singing tone and dynamic approach lent the work an air of freshness, and the way he introduced little touches of portamento between repeated notes was delicious. With the BBC Philharmonic on sweeping form, the Adagio was sumptuously phrased and glowing, and the finale was sparkling and beautiful, Ehnes tripping delicately through its dancing spiccato melodies, a showman at the top of his game.”
    The Strad, October 2010

    National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa / Mark Wigglesworth / Prokofiev Concerto No.2
    “[James Ehnes] is the real deal. …Prokofiev’s Second is possibly the hardest concerto in the standard repertoire. It’s also possible Ehnes played it as well as it has ever been played. His rendition had everything from the heart-stopping beauty of the soaring melodies in the second movement to the most dazzling brilliance and colour, all the while expressing the touches of black humour that occur so frequently in the score.”
    Ottawa Citizen, May 2010

    Dallas Symphony Orchestra / Claus Peter Flor / Bruch Scottish Fantasy
    “In Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy one could only wonder if there's a finer violinist alive than James Ehnes. Here were luminous tone and impeccable technique, but also a generosity of expression that matched Flor's. Both musicians daringly stretched phrases here and there, but always to the most musical ends.”
    Dallas Morning News, April 2010

    City Halls Glasgow, Recital with Andrew Armstrong
    “They are a dynamic duo, but not in a showy sense – the one prevailing feature of Ehnes's performances of Schumann, Bach and Beethoven, was his tendency to hold back on extravagant pyrotechnics, and let the music flow with natural expression and stunning, immaculate precision.

    That was amply evident in Ehnes's solo performance of Bach's unaccompanied Partita in E, which was compelling for its combination of intellectual simplicity and magisterial grace, as well as a perfect showcase for his magnificent Stradivarius violin, its molten clarity ringing in perfect sympathy with the warm, crystalline City Halls acoustics.

    Equally gripping, though, was the innate empathy between both musicians that reaped magical results from Schumann's Violin Sonata No 1 in A minor and Beethoven's Kreuzer Sonata.

    The introvert sensibilities of the Schumann were beautifully captured in a performance characterised by muted gestures and impassioned restraint. Ehnes and Armstrong judged its expressive nuances to a T, colouring even the harnessed exuberance of the finale with alluring reservation.

    It was as if the big guns were being held back for the Beethoven, the difficult opening bars of which – a truculent, almost belligerent warm-up act for the breezy presto – were remarkable in their attention-grabbing theatricality. The central variations emerged as a deliciously fluid discourse, before a finale that reached its conclusion with invigorating intent.

    Thankfully, it didn't take much to coax two encores out of the musicians – Kreisler's gymnastic Tambourin Chinois and his tender, atmospheric arrangement of Cyril Scott's Lotus Land. A supreme recital, which can be heard again on BBC Radio 3 this Thursday.”
    The Scotsman*****, March 2010

    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Donald Runnicles / Britten Violin Concerto
    “The intense solo line wears its colours on its sleeve and violinist James Ehnes was more than able to meet its many demands. Runnicles kept a tight rein over the metrically driven opening movement, leaving Ehnes to explore the romance in the music. Perhaps most impressive of all, however, was Ehnes's cadenza towards the end of the frantic Vivace. Mastery of Britten's significant physical and technical demands is certainly not easy, but to take this material and craft it to reflect the painful lyricism that lies at its core demonstrated a complete and true understanding of the work.”
    The Scotsman, March 2010

    Feature on Barber Violin Concerto recording in The Strad
    “It is James Ehnes … who provides the most direct challenge to Perlman in a recent release. With a warm, forward statement of the opening tune, and pointed, light animandos that wrap up with a flourish, Ehnes is always ingratiating … In the finale, though every note seems equal in value and shading, this moto perpetuo generates a momentum that threatens to run out of the room. This is a truly distinguished recording, right beside the Perlman/Ozawa version at the top of the list .”
    The Strad, March 2010

    Paganini Caprices recording (Onyx)
    “When we now speak of the world’s finest young fiddlers we must surely add the name of this visionary Canadian.

    Throughout Ehnes’s playing glows. You get the feeling every time he puts bow to string that something special will, quite naturally, just happen.”
    Editor’s Choice and CD of the month, Gramophone, January 2010

    “[Ehnes] confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: 'there is only one like him born every hundred years'."
    Awarded the Diapason d’Or, Diapason, January 2010

    “James Ehnes has produced a superb version that nudges all others out of the limelight […]

    These studies in virtuosity might harbour every technical trick known to man – and maybe some known only to the Devil – but Ehnes has a rare sensibility to make music out of them.

    This is a wondrous set that shows Paganini end Ehnes as masters both of technique and expression.”
    CD of the week, The Telegraph, October 2009

    “Ehnes has returned to these coruscating ‘finger-breakers’ … playing them with the same glowing tonal finesse as before, but with a new lyrical intensity that gives each piece its own special sense of musical identity. […] Beguilingly player and expertly engineered, this deserves a place on anyone’s shortlist of the Caprices.”
    BBC Music Magazine, December 2009

    “James Ehnes, whose artistry suggests that in Paganini’s age he would have enjoyed similar stature to the great man, succeeds impressively in being more than merely thrilling. He realises that, extravagant though some of the music’s gestures are, this is not simply a high-wire act. […] It’s playing of phenomenal control, allied to musicianship of the highest order.”
    The Times, October 2009

    “Ehnes gives a performance that balances bel canto refinement with an almost Beethovenian heroism. Technically, this is faultless. The spiccato is crisp, the octaves dazzling. Even more impressive is the melodic sweetness.”
    The Independent, October 2009

    “All I can say is that this CD contains some of the most jaw-droppingly breath-taking violinistic fireworks you are ever likely to hear. […] one of Ehnes’ greatest triumphs is that he is able to focus on the musical impetus behind the notes because the technical hurdles that face the rest of us barely seem to bother him. In doing so he raises their musical stature greatly. […] for sustained listening and a greater sense of the music as an organic whole I find Ehnes to be without equal.

    A marvelous, amazing, stunning, spectacular, fabulous, awe-inspiring, fabulous - only half-way through the Microsoft office thesaurus but I’ll leave out cool and groovy - piece of music-making.”
    Recording of the Month, CD Review, November 2009

    “James Ehnes shapes three full volumes of Paganini's Caprices into gorgeous musical sculptures that will give you goosebumps. Ehnes jumps the huge technical hurdles as if they were a stroll on the beach. There is power in his bow, but also remarkable shading; this is not just music to knock your socks off – it has a full, multi-coloured range of moods. Wow.”
    4 stars (out of 4), Toronto Star, November 2009

    Mozarteum, Salzburg Festival / Paganini Caprices
    "James Ehnes played 12 of the 24 Caprices, including the popular "La Chasse" and the famous "Themes and Variations" on the final A minor poem, which many composers have taken up and re-worked. ... James Ehnes played with soft-as-butter phrasing, and a rich and subtle tone, bringing to life and elevating the whole compendium of violin techniques from stroking and bowing to plucking and striking the strings. The performance was a masterclass in how to transform virtuosic, circus acrobatics into sensitive 'scenes' for the violin, each one telling its own little story."
    Salzburger Nachrichten, August 2009

    Wigmore Hall, BBC Lunchtime Recital with Andrew Armstrong
    “The Ehnes package, revealed immediately in the melodious opening andante of the Leclair, consists of palpable joy in the instrument, intonation so sweet in its perfection that you feel it physically, a strong, relaxed bow arm which wet-moulds every phrase - and a total lack of distracting ego-projection.

    Ehnes and Armstrong smile a lot, though: their encore, Ravel's Berceuse, dedicated to Fauré, was well into overtime - “so we're playing it just for ourselves”, Ehnes joked.
    Its gentle lullaby went straight to the heart of their audience, though - just as Ehnes and Armstrong had pinned them to their seats a moment or two earlier in their performance of Ravel's Tzigane. Here, every colour, resonance and grain of the wood of the violin rang out in overtone, undertone and harmonic. And the piano, reincarnated as cimbalom, flexed the muscle of the Hungarian gypsy language into which both musicians dug deep.

    The centrepiece was Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No 2. It slinked into being, only to reveal a flinty brilliance in the scherzo and in Ehnes's powerfully structured finale.”
    The Times, March 2009

    Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
    “I have never heard such an accurate reading of the score… But what about the spirit, the passion and the sheer romance of the piece? Quite simply, the performance was saturated with them, but delivered without hyperbole, bombast or flash.”
    The Herald, March 2009

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kiril Karabits / Beethoven Concerto
    “As if this were not enough for one evening, the exceptional violinist James Ehnes gave a performance of the Beethoven concerto that was transfixing in its eloquence, in perfect tandem with the qualities of refinement and depth that are components of the Bournemouth orchestra's collective personality. Serenity and sinew, radiance and rhythmic point were searchingly deployed in Ehnes's profoundly expressive interpretation, the tumultuous reception of which was rewarded with an encore of the gigue from Bach's Partita No 2.”
    Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph, November 2008

    “…all ears were on James Ehnes. Is there a creamier, more ravishing violin timbre in the world today than that from Ehnes's Strad? Add immaculate tuning, serene lyricism and an understated but unfaltering musicality, and its clear why the young Canadian is fast becoming the connoisseur's fiddler-of-choice.”
    Richard Morrison, The Times, November 2008

    New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Bramwell Tovey / Tchaikovsky Concerto
    “James Ehnes demonstrated his mastery over his instrument and the music. Delivering technical perfection and playing with great energy and musicality, he had the audience on its feet cheering after the performance.”
    The Strad, June 2008

    Philharmonia Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis / Elgar Violin Concerto recording
    “Take almost any passage at random from the Violin Concerto in this recording and it’s hard not to be impressed. James Ehnes has a lovely ripe vibrato and an expressive openness that touches the heart from his first entry. Elgar spoke of having written out his soul in this work, and whether Ehnes knows that remark or not, that’s certainly the effect he conveys.”
    BBC Music Magazine, January 2008

    “Not only is Ehnes's technical address impeccable and intonation miraculously true, his contribution is remarkable for its intrepid emotional scope, athletic agility and (perhaps above all) jaw-dropping delicacy (nowhere more heart-tuggingly potent than in the finale's accompanied cadenza…”
    Gramophone - Editor's Choice, January 2008

    “…this performance of the concerto is a landmark recording from a consummate artist whose instincts and sensibility mark him out as one of the finest musicians in today's firmament."
    CD of the Week, The Daily Telegraph, January 2008

    “Ehnes plays Elgar's Violin Concerto with an alchemic mix of passionate intensity and clear-headed intelligence, lavishing upon this spacious, hyper-romantic work a sound of staggeringly rich, luscious beauty, from first note to last. There's a tremendous impetus to the first movement, while the slow movement has a tenderness and freedom that surely come straight from the heart. Ehnes is both technically and musically in total command."
    The Sunday Times, 28 October 2007

    “The Canadian violinist James Ehnes plays this concerto with superb technical accomplishment, and he is equally impressive in the more extrovert episodes as in the intimate and amorous musing. With Sir Andrew Davis a sensitive collaborator and the Philharmonia responding wholeheartedly, this is a distinguished contribution to the Elgar discography."
    The Sunday Telegraph, 2 December 2007

    Philharmonia Orchestra / Andrew Davis / Elgar Concerto
    "Ehnes sustained an unflagging intensity into the testing finale, even into its expansive cadenza: a remarkable feat in the concerto that even Kreisler claimed might have been the greatest test of a violinist's endurance. No doubt about it, this was a distinguished, honest, stirring, world-class presentation, and as such a meaningful tribute to Elgar."
    The Strad, August 2007

    Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Recital
    "Mercifully free of affectation or vanity, yet blessed with as stunning a technique and as intriguing a musical personality as any violinist on the circuit, James Ehnes seems set to become one of classical music's biggest names." 
    The Times, February 2007

    Violin concertos by Korngold, Barber and Walton / Onyx Classics
    "James Ehnes gives superb performances... His playing has always been impressive on disc, but here he excels himself in expressive range as well as the tonal beauty, with expressive rubato perfectly controlled... An outstanding disc in every way."
    Gramophone, February 2007

    Cleveland Orchestra / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
    "…let's start with Ehnes, a Canadian violinist whose star is rising quickly. For his debut Saturday with the orchestra, he played that beloved Tchaikovsky warhorse, the Violin Concerto, as if it were the newest piece on the block. He phrased with utmost expressive flexibility, drawing the romance or drama out of phrases, and employed his buttery tone - thanks in part to a 1715 Stradivarius - to rapturous effect.
    Ehnes also happens to possess one of the most wizardly bow arms in the business. In passages requiring velocity, especially in the finale, he passed across the strings at a speed that sounded dangerous, but never obscured notes. Ehnes treated Tchaikovsky as a fine balancing act between eloquent poetry and bold athleticism."
    Cleveland Times , July 2006

    Mozart complete music for violin and orchestra / CBC Records
    "You know you're in for a treat with sparkling tempi, buoyant rhythms throughout and a soloist whose unerring expressive and technical ability puts a spring in your step. In addition to the concertos are the Adagio and two Rondos making this release a clear first choice in the field."
    Classic FM, May 2006

    J.S. Bach Sonatas / Analekta
    "The performances abound with beauty, intelligence, and expressivity. ... This cycle, along with the Sonatas and Partitas, ensures James Ehnes' standing as one of the great Bach violinists of our time, or any time for that matter."
    Classics Today , April 2006

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop / Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1
    "This was the performance of Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto to take away as the ultimate souvenir of the composer's centenary year.  It is rare to find an interpretation in which the music's impact is at once so shattering and so exhilarating, so firmly in control yet so generous in expression, so organic in conception yet so rich in its detailed exploration of the score.  Extraordinary forces were at work here, and they were harnessed with potent artistic resolve."
    The Telegraph, March 2006

    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop / Shostakovich's first violin concerto
    "Force and poetry.  More than most executants, Ehnes found a way to balance these key ingredients, never sacrificing beauty of tone for the excitement of fist fights between bow and strings, yet still playing with fervour.  His dark, soulful colouring cast its magic right from the opening"
     The Times, March 2006

    "This was the performance of Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto to take away as the ultimate souvenir of the composer's centenary year.  It is rare to find an interpretation in which the music's impact is at once so shattering and so exhilarating, so firmly in control yet so generous in expression, so organic in conception yet so rich in its detailed exploration of the score.  Extraordinary forces were at work here, and they were harnessed with potent artistic resolve."
    The Telegraph, March 2006

    "One of the most gifted and sincerely expressive artists to have emerged in recent times."
    Daily Telegraph, March 2006

    Scottish Chamber Orchestra /Bruch's Violin Concerto
    "…the spotlight was on James Ehnes, the red-hot Canadian violinist. His technique is blistering, giving an utter conviction to whatever he plays - including Friday's supersonic Paganini encore."
    The Scotsman, November 2005

    London Symphony Orchestra / Elgar Violin Concerto
    “…the way [Ehnes] touched the very soul of the Elgar concerto made for a performance that surpassed the exceptional and entered the realms of the truly inspirational.”
    The Daily Telegraph, May 2005

    Philharmonia Orchestra /  Mozart Violin Concerto No.5
    “Fleet orchestral playing was matched by the solo work of the Canadian violinist James Ehnes, who placed musical truth before virtuosic display…Ehnes was really notable for spinning long, finely phrased lines that caught the essence of the piece.”
    The Times, April 2005

    Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Barber Violin Concerto
    “Ehnes’ performance of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto on Friday was one of the best I’ve ever heard. It fused every aspect of Barber’s warmly energetic writing into a performance bursting with bright-eyed optimism and technical brilliance. Ehnes was never going be let off without an encore...”
    The Scotsman, March 2005

    New York Philharmonic’s Ives Festival/Lou Harrison Suite for Violin and American Gamelan
    “Ehnes’s performance was nothing short of brilliant.  His tone at the opening sang with the dark, suggestive voice of a gypsy contralto…In each subsequent movement he conjured up a new cast of characters, leaving me dizzy with delight”
    The Strad, August 2004

    Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
    "At 28, Ehnes seems to get better every year: technically brilliant, artistically assured. His tone is glorious — a rounded and burnished sound on the Marsick Stradivarius, a 1715 instrument on extended loan from the collection of David Fulton. … Ehnes' sound is lovely even in the upper reaches of the instrument, where violins don't always sound so rich and full. He knows how to make the violin sing, not simply negotiate the notes (though that can be hard enough in the Mendelssohn Concerto). He's an expressive player; his performance was deeply thoughtful — so clean you're never conscious of the concerto's challenges."
    Seattle Times, 6 June 2004

    Records Dvorák, Smetana and Janácek on Analekta
    "With this latest recording, James Ehnes, proves that he possesses everything to become one of the greatest violinists of the twenty-first century."
    Classica, April 2004

    "Ehnes is a world class violinist and he proves it once again with intense, characterful and technically flawless renditions of these Czech gems." 
    Classics Today, April 2004

    “…There is colour, rhythmic élan, a feeling of pure joy. Yet the performances also attest to Ehnes’ total finesse, his lyrical warmth and tenderness in the Sonatina’s slow movement and the first of the Smetana pieces, his passion and vigour in the second of them. The interpretation of the Janacek sonata is of remarkable depth and intensity…"
    Daily Telegraph, March 2004

    Ulster Orchestra & Thierry Fischer / Beethoven Violin Concerto
    “…The young Canadian violinist James Ehnes brought a full, golden tone to the concerto. His playing had the traditional warmth of feeling and also the traditional Kreisler cadenzas, the sparkling third movement cadenza in particular standing out…”
    The Irish Times, 4 March 2004

    Recital for BBC Radio Three with Eduard Laurel / Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 4 & 7
    “…James Ehnes was fully on top of the symphonic possibilities here and produced a gritty and integrated performance, his determined approach to tempi maintaining a momentum that powerd the vehicle forward…”
    The Belfast Telegraph, 1 March 2004

    San Francisco Symphony & David Robertson / Weill Violin Concerto
    “…a dynamite debut by soloist James Ehnes … pleasure in spades … His playing boasts a quiet elegance, seemingly without effort or turmoil, that brought out the lyricism underscoring even Weill's most tartly pointed writing. His string tone is warm and full-voiced, his rhythmic control deceptively fluid. His return visit is something to look forward to…”
    San Francisco Chronicle, 8 November 2003

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra & Stéphane Denève / Prokofiev First Violin Concerto
    “…Juilliard graduate James Ehnes, playing a 1715 Stradivarius, produced shifts in tone and colour in the Prokofiev that demonstrated phenomenal technique combined with an intense, controlled sensibility…”
    The Scotsman, 1 November 2003

    “…sweetly expressive yet powerful in the lyrical outer movements, with impressive, sparkling technical accuracy in the angular central scherzo…”
    Glasgow Herald, 3 November 2003

    New York Philharmonic & Roberto Minczuk / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
    “Mr. Ehnes, a 27-year-old Canadian, gave an exciting reading of the Tchaikovsky, playing the slower sections with a smooth and warm honeyed tone and the brisker ones with ample quantities of firepower. The first movement in particular was notable for the sense of repose and spacious lyricism that Mr. Ehnes frequently carved out amid the lightning runs. “
    New York Times, 9 July 2003

    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & Gianandrea Noseda / Prokofiev 1st Concerto
    "The young Canadian violinist James Ehnes brought phenomenal clarity to Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto, moving surefootedly even in passages where the starriest virtuosos slip and slide, yet was also sensitive to the fairy tale atmosphere in which the whole unfolds."
    The Daily Telegraph, February 2003

    "The young Canadian violinist James Ehnes played with spellbinding intensity, shimmering magically to life with his opening solo, then digging into the scherzo's rough middle section with a relish that was both earthy and jaw-droppingly virtuosic. With Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic on peak form, it was a radiant performance..."
    The Guardian, 3 February 2003

    "What a nonchalant virtuoso he is. Here was no grandstanding: just a beautiful, suitably bittersweet tone, and long-breathed phrases."
    The Times, 3 February 2003

    "In a beautifully restrained reading of the First Violin Concerto, James Ehnes seemed to touch the very heart of the music. His hypnotic first entry, calculated to spin effortlessly on, set the tone for a performance high on expressive detail and on intimate dialogue between soloist and orchestra."
    The Independent, 12 February 2003

    Orchestre Symphonique de Montral & Mario Bernardi / Bruch Second Concerto and Scottish Fantasy / CBC 5222
    “This beguiling disc features the exceptional young Canadian violinist James Ehnes in an unusual pairing of Bruch's Scottish Fantasy and Second Violin Concerto. ... Ehnes's performance is powerfully persuasive. ... Ehnes here confirms his stature as an artist of refined sensibility, with a musicianship to match his technical control and tonal allure. ... Ehnes, as always, deploys his virtuosity to musical ends that are governed by intelligence and a real feel for the music's style. ... and brings to the Scottish Fantasy a Romantic spirit and freshness of outlook that give his playing such a winning profile.”
    The Daily Telegraph, March 2003
     
    "Ehnes est fidèle à sa réputation avec un son irradiant, raffiné, une manière d'enchainer les traits et les phrases sans heurt, exactement comme Giulini interprétant Mozart. Ce chant superbe trouve son plein aboutissemant dans les deux premiers mouvements du 2e Concerto, où Ehnes "explose" toute concurrence (Heifetz, Perlman par deux fois, Accardo, Rosand...)."
    Répertoire, January 2003
     
    Bach Sonatas and Partitas / Analekta FL 2 3147-8
    "The young Canadian violinist James Ehnes is inspiring in Bach's six solo sonatas and partitas, refined, rhythmically acute and probing right to the music's spiritual core."
    Sunday Telegraph; 2002 A Year in Sound, December 2002
     
    Kreisler Recital / Analekta FL 2 3159
    "Tout chez James Ehnes respire la force tranquille des violonistes les plus audacieux qui ont su dépasser toute considération technicisante pour se consacrer uniquement à l'expressivité la plus pure. La limpidité du jeu, la souplesse d'un archet qui s'offre généreusement à la corde avec toute l'agilité requise, l'intensité de la note servie avec un amour de son le plus juste possible, suscitent un bonheur rare. Et qui plus est, James Ehnes s'impose comme un immense violoniste qui a su marquer son territoire loin de toute référence ou de toute filiation préétablie. Le génie est à ce prix."
    Répertoire, Le Disque du Mois, November 2002
     
    "...the Canadian is top-of-the-range luxury goods: the sound he produces is ravishing, the intonation faultless, the articulation impeccable, all of which are employed with that one essential ingredient for Kreisler: charm. ... For my money, the most satisfying Kreisler programme and modern performance currently available - and that includes those by Bell, Mintz and Kennedy."
    BBC Music Magazine, January 2003
     
    BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Richard Hickox at the BBC Proms / Brahms Concerto
    "It is the thought that lies behind his interpretations, coupled with a spontaneous freshness, that marks him out as one of the most gifted and sincerely expressive artists to have emerged in recent times. The Brahms exhibited this comprehensively… Altogether remarkable."
    The Daily Telegraph , September 2002

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    DSO Berlin / Vladimir Ashkenazy / Elgar Violinkonzert
    „Jubel herrscht am Ende des 50-minütigen Stückes, weil dem kanadischen Solisten James Ehnes alles zur Verfügung steht: sorgsame Phrasierung, Farben, Technik, Stradivari... Ehnes versteht sich auf Introvertiertheit wie Brillanz.“
    Der Tagesspiegel, Februar 2014

    „James Ehnes spielt das alles nicht nur blitzsauber bis in die manchmal ganz plötzlich aufflammenden Gesten hinein, sondern vor allem mit einem intensiven Erzählton, der alle Qualitäten einer unverwechselbaren, fast physische Präsenz ausstrahlenden Stimme besitzt und die ganze Zeit hindurch zu fesseln vermag. Mächtig ist dieser Ton, herb und etwas nasal, sehr belastbar auf den mittleren Saiten, am ausdrucksvollsten aber in dem nie beengt wirkenden Spiel in den hohen Lagen auf der G-Saite, das weite Strecken dieses Stückes prägt.“
    Berliner Zeitung, Februar 2014

    MDR Sinfonieorchester / Hugh Wolff / Britten Violinkonzert
    „James Ehnes ist mit seinem Solopart aus süßen Kantilenen und rhythmisch dominierten Themen immer präsent und meistert die technischen Herausforderungen souverän, besonders die aufregende Kadenz. Dafür gibt es viel Applaus, für den sich Ehnes mit einer Zugabe von Bach bedankt.“
    Leipziger Volkszeitung, Oktober 2013

    Britten und Shostakowitsch Aufnamhe (Onyx)
    Britten Violinkonzert op.15 und Shostakowitsch Violinkonzert Nr.1 op.77 / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirill Karabits„Es ist ein Rätsel, warum Ehnes bei uns nicht viel bekannter ist. Vor den Zimmermanns, Tetzlaffs und Kavakossen dieser Welt muss er sich keineswegs verstecken. Das beweist auch seine neue CD.

    Am Beginn des ersten Schostakowitsch-Konzerts färbt Ehnes seinen Ton warm und fast Cello-artig. Seine ausdifferenzierte Farbpalette ist wirklich beeindruckend und reicht bis hin zu schneidend scharf - in blitzsauberen Doppelgriffen, die jede Dissonanz physisch fühlbar werden lassen.

    Die Gefahr bei dem Stück sei, sich nur auf die unmittelbaren starken Effekte zu stützen, sagt Ehnes. Wenn man im ersten und dritten Satz nur ein trauriges Gesicht mache, das Scherzo einfach aufregend und abgehackt und den letzten Satz so schnell wie möglich spiele, bekomme man zwar stehende Ovationen - aber das sei nicht gut genug. Man bleibe allenfalls an der Oberfläche.

    Bei Ehnes ist das keine Gefahr. Das Scherzo beginnt er überraschend kontrolliert und gehalten - umso explosiver wirkt der Schluss: eine perfekte Dramaturgie.

    Die große Kadenz leitet er in der Passacaglia ein wie ein Gebet; wir sind im Innersten dieser Gefühlswelt, die nach der Kadenz in den wilden Strudel des Finales mündet.

    Das Konzert von Britten zeigt die technische Virtuosität von Ehnes, es ist extrem anspruchsvoll. Aber auch hier ist die Dramaturgie entscheidend. Allzu leicht wirkt das Stück gehaltlos und unproportioniert. Schon die lang ausgesponnene Eröffnungsphase legt Ehnes klug an, schwebend umschreibt sie einen offenen Raum.

    Beim Britten-Konzert müsse man als Solist eine ganz klare Vorstellung haben, wie alles ineinander greift, auch die Orchesterstimmen, so Ehnes. Es sei sehr dicht komponiert, man brauche dafür viel Zeit. Dem Geiger gelingt es, die Spannung bis zum Ende der finalen Passacaglia zu halten.

    Brittens Violinkonzerte lasse am Ende ein Fragezeichen zurück, glaubt Ehnes, es sei mehrdeutig. Selbst beim letzten Akkord könne man nicht genau sagen, ob das nun Dur oder Moll sei. Das sei ein Markenzeichen von Britten. Seine Musik bleibe im Kopf, man beschäftige sich weiter damit, wenn sie verklungen sei.

    Am Ende des Britten-Konzerts mag ein Fragezeichen bleiben - diese CD aber hinterlässt ein Ausrufezeichen. James Ehnes sollte auch hier in Deutschland eine wichtigere Rolle spielen!“
    NDR Kultur, Juni 2013

    Bartók Aufnahme (Chandos)
    Violinsonaten Nr.1 & 2, Rhapsodien Nr.1 & 2, Andante in A-Dur / Andrew Armstrong

    „Die Schwierigkeit, den inzwischen doch recht häufig eingespielten Werken eine persönliche Note abzuringen, meistern der Geiger und sein Klavierpartner Andrew Armstrong mit Bravour.... Der Geiger spart nicht mit sinnlichem Vibrato, wahrt aber dennoch auch eine gewisse Distanz zum allzu gefälligen und verharmlosenden spätromantischen Duktus, den man in anderen Aufnahmen hören kann. Gezielt werden farbliche Nuancierungen eingesetzt, was dazu beiträgt, die unterschiedlichen Einflüsse auf Bartóks Musik aufzudecken. Wie sehr Ehnes aber auch die Feinheiten des Romantizismus beherrscht, zeigt er schließlich bei seiner Wiedergabe von Bartóks frühem 'Andante' A-Dur (BB 26b, 1902), in dem noch ganz andere Klangwelten aufscheinen.“
    Klassik.com, Mai 2012

    Bartók Aufnahme (Chandos)
    Violinkonzerte Nr. 1 & 2, Violakonzert / BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda
    „James Ehnes spielt...beide Violinkonzerte und das Violakonzert Béla Bartóks und überzeugt dabei auf ganzer Linie... Die sorgfältige Modellierung von Phrasen, die oftmals gegensätzliche Ausdruckswerte einbezieht, die Unterstützung des Vortrags durch leichte Portamenti – Elemente, die er auch in den übrigen Werken zum Wohl der Musik einzusetzen weiß – offenbaren rasch die außerordentliche Qualität seiner Bartók-Wiedergabe.“
    Klassik.com, November 2011

    Hamburger Philharmoniker / Marc Piollet / Walton Violinkonzert
    “exzellenter Geiger mit absolut makelloser Technik und klangschönem, von keinerlei Kratzern oder Ruppigkeiten getrübten Ton. Dazu kam sein ganz und gar unprätentiöses Auftreten”
    Hamburger Abendblatt, November 2011

    BBC Symphony Orchestra / Donald Runnicles / Brahms Violinkonzert (Konzerthaus Wien)
    “…das Violinkonzert von Johannes Brahms, dessen Interpretation durch Ehnes in Klang, Spieltechnik und Ausdruck keine Wünsche offenließ.”
    Wiener Zeitung, Oktober 2010

    „...umjubeltes Konzerthaus-Debüt des Geigers James Ehnes - ein organischeres Ineinandergreifen von Solist und Orchester wird man so schnell nicht erleben.“
    Die Presse, Oktober 2010

    Salzburger Festspiele / Paganini Capricen
    “James Ehnes spielte zwölf der 24 Charakterstücke, darunter die populäre „La Chasse“ und das berühmte „Tema con variazioni“ des letzten, von vielen Komponisten verarbeitend aufgegriffenen a-Moll-Poems. James Ehnes tat es – wie Marc-André Hamelin auf seine Art – mit butterweicher Phrasierung und substanzreich-subtiler Klanglichkeit, die das Kompendium der Streich-, Zupf-, Bogen- und Schlagtechnik für Geige zu lebendiger Musik zu veredeln vermochte. Auch das wurde somit ein Lehrstück, wie man virtuos-zirzensische Akrobatik in feinfühlige Geigen-„Szenen“ überführen kann, die Nummer für Nummer kleine Geschichten erzählen.“
    Salzburger Nachrichten, August 2009

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    These are featured projects related to James Ehnes:

    Bartók Recording
    James Ehnes records Bartók with the BBC Philharmonic on Chandos James Ehnes violin and viola BBC Philharmonic Gianandrea Noseda conductor Bela Bartók (1881-1945) Violin Concerto No.1, BB.48a Violin Concerto No.2, BB.117 Viola Concerto, Sz.120, BB.128 Released September 2011 Click here for further details on the Chandos website Audio Hear James Ehnes in the opening of Bartók Violin Concerto No.2: Hear James Ehnes in...

    Paganini Caprices
    James Ehnes' critically acclaimed recording of the complete Paganini Caprices on Onyx Listen to James Ehnes' Paganini Caprice No.1 in E (Andante): Paganini Caprice No.5 in A minor (Agitato) Paganini Caprices recording (Onyx) “It was with his first recording of the Caprices that we discovered the prodigious talent of James Ehnes (Telarc, 1995). Following in the footsteps of a number of violinists who have recorded it a second time...

    Fulton Project
    JAMES EHNES: FULTON PROJECT In a unqiue recording project for Onyx Classics, James Ehnes performs on 12 of the greatest string instruments ever made. James Ehnes violin and viola Eduard Laurel piano The Fulton Collection is perhaps the most important private collection of instruments in the world and contains many examples of the legendary names Stradavari, Guarneri and Guadagnini. This...

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