Noah Bendix-Balgley’s New Album, “Jonathan Leshnoff”
Released on Naxos Records, the album features Leshnoff’s Violin Concerto No. 2 performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic
Violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley has released a new disc of works by the Baltimore-based composer Jonathan Leshnoff, performing with conductor Alexander Mickelthwaite, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Oklahoma-based choir Canterbury Voices.
The centerpiece of the album is Leshnoff’s Violin Concerto No. 2, written in 2017. Following the typical four-movement structure of a symphony, the concerto draws on his study of Jewish mysticism. These influences are most present in the second movement, “Chokhmah Yud,” in which the solo violinist plays only with the strings and harp.
The concerto is book-ended on the album by Leshnoff’s Elegy, a 2022 work for horns, harp, timpani, and strings, and Of Thee I Sing — a work for mixed chorus and orchestra, written in commemoration of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.
To purchase and listen to the album, click here.
“Jonathan’s violin concerto is both an exciting and a lyrical work, with soaring melodies for the violin, as well as rhythmically driving passagework,” Bendix-Balgley said. “It is quite challenging for both the orchestra and the soloist.”
“The fast movements have nonstop moving notes, often in complex groupings, and getting everything tight and together is not easy,” he added. “But it’s a rewarding process, as the piece is enjoyable to play and to listen to. I would say the work is immediately relatable, and violinists may notice passages with inspiration from the Sibelius concerto, Bach E major Preludio and more — Jonathan told me as much!”
You can hear Bendix-Balgley playing and speaking about the work below.
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