VC DESERT ISLAND DOWNLOADS | VC Artist Noah Bendix-Balgley – ‘5 Recordings I Can’t Live Without’

VC recently caught up with Berlin Philharmonic 1st Concertmaster, VC Artist Noah Bendix-Balgley – for a fun game of VC Desert Island Downloads


The Violin Channel recently caught up with Berlin Philharmonic 1st Concertmaster, VC Artist Noah Bendix-Balgley – for a fun game of VC Desert Island Downloads.

We sat him down to pick his brain on which 5 CD recordings he would take with him to a deserted island – and how the tracks have helped shape him as a musician.


1. Jascha Heifetz – Performing Max Bruch’s ‘Scottish Fantasy’

‘This amazing recording gets me every time … I happen to really love the romanticism and gorgeous melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy … and Heifetz plays this music like no one else.

Technical brilliance, with a searing intensity to the playing … every note he plays has a purpose and the clarity of his phrasing and the musical direction is amazing.’


Bruch & Vieuxtemps

Malcolm Sargent, Conductor

New Symphony Orchestra of London

Release Date: August 15, 1995

Label: Sony Classical



2. La Boheme – with Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker

‘I love Puccini’s opera and I fell in love with this recording a long time ago … Pavarotti and Freni are at the top of their form … passionate and sensitive singing, with great timing and vocal colors.

The wonderful lush and dark sound of the Berliner Philharmoniker under Karajan make this recording a joy to listen to … There are so many goosebump moments to enjoy here!!’

La Bohème, Puccini

Mirella Freni & Luciano Pavarotti

Herbert von Karajan, Conductor

Berliner Philharmoniker

Release Date: October 14, 2008

Label: Decca



3. Beethoven String Quartets – Performed by the Guarneri Quartet

‘Beethoven String Quartets are certainly Desert-Island music for me …

I have played a good number of the Quartets and listened to all of them, yet I feel I have only scratched the surface to understand this amazing music, even with the quartets that I have studied and performed.

I love the Guarneri Quartet Beethoven cycle … I never feel that they play a single note without meaning or attention to sound … and what a sound it is – such warmth and love.

Each individual member of the quartet shines with their individuality, while the collective interpretation is cohesive and powerful.’

Guarneri Quartet

Beethoven : The Late String Quartets

Release Date: August 7, 1990

Label: RCA Gold Seal


4. Taraf de Haïdouks – Band of Gypsies

‘A band of Romani musicians from Clejani, Romania, Taraf de Haïdouks play traditional folk music from this region … this dance music is infectious and full of manic energy … it gets my blood pumping, and I can’t help but tap my foot along to it.’

Tara de Haïdouks

Band of Gypsies

Release Date: May 14, 2001

Label: Crammed


And to finish off, something a bit smoother:


5. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

‘A great collaboration of two of the all-time greats … joined by the Oscar Petersen Quartet.

I love the individuality of their voices, and how directly they speak through their songs … timing, phrasing, colors – they have it all.

One can’t say Louis Armstrong has a typical ‘beautiful’ voice, but it is so expressive and evocative … the rhythmic groove of the Quartet is just right, and of course Louis’ trumpet solos are a joy!’

Ella & Louis

Ella Fitzgerald

Louis Armstrong

Release Date: April 12, 2011

Label: Poll Winners