J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Judith Ingolfsson, violin - Debut Recording

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Judith Ingolfsson
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Ronald Sat, piano
Individual Works:Ernest Bloch - Poeme Mystique
Ned Rorem - Autumn Music
J.S. Bach - Solo Sonata No. 3 in C major BWV 1005
Wieniawski - Faust Fantasy
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:CATALPA
Catalog Number:65896-30101
Year Released/Recorded:1999
Total Playing Time:1:12:00
Comments:Herbert Barrett Management said:

This CD was awarded the 2000 WQXR/CHAMBER MUSIC AMERICA record award


JUDITH INGOLFSSON: DEBUT RECITAL À Judith Ingolfsson (vn); Ronald Sat (pn)À
CATALPA 65896-30101 (72:57)

BLOCH Violin Sonata No. 2, "PoÞme mystique." ROREM Autumn Music. BACH Sonata No. 3 for Unaccompanied Violin, BWV 1005. WIENIAWSKI Fantaisie Brillante on Themes from Gounod's Faust, op. 20

Violinists' CD debuts have run the gamut from concerto programs through sonata recitals to collections of salon pieces (a brave choice in a severely puritanical environment). Judith Ingolfsson, winner of the 1998 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, has ingeniously hedged her bets, including unaccompanied Bach, the premiere of a brand-new contemporary work, a full-length sonata, and a virtuoso showpiece (although, at more than 17 minutes, hardly a bit of fluff). Nobody could complain that one or another facet of her musicianship has yet to be demonstrated. Yet since such a varied program exposes her to the scrutiny of specialists in diverse fields, she's hardly immune to risk; and it takes great sensitivity to adapt as well as she does throughout such a wide range of styles. Her reading of Bloch's Sonatais ardent and impassioned (Walter Simmons praised the "broadly vehement, grandly impassioned approach" of Leonard Freidman and Allan Schiller to this music on ASV CD DCA 714 in 16:2, but preferred that of the Weilerstein Duo on Arabesque Z6606, which he had reviewed in 13:2. Ingolfsson is certainly more commanding technically, and she's accorded more immediate and closer if less reverberant sound than Friedman's. As noted in the interview with Ingolfsson elsewhere in this issue, she studied with Weilerstein, and the opening passages of their respective recordings of the sonata sound uncannily similar, although Ingolfsson's phrases seem to grow suppler, her tone purer, and her lyricism more soaring than Weilerstein's as the two performances proceed). She then takes on extra tonal ballast for the first section of Rorem's Autumn Music, a piece written for the competition. The haunting passages of its slow second section and the quicksilver brilliance of the ensuing faster one recall Ravel's Sonataùjust as Ingolfsson recalls one of that work's earliest and most insightful interpreters, Joseph Szigeti.

She doesn't press the opening movement of Bach's sonata but allows the motives and their interrelationships to unfold majestically at their own pace. The fugue develops with the same naturalness, due to her careful but unobtrusive attention to voice-leading not only in chords but in prima facie homophonic sections as well; and the slow movement sounds more sensitive, personal, and reflective as a result of her relaxed geniality. Her reading of the concertolike last movement may lack the scintillating intelligence of Milstein's, but it's deficient only as measured against that awe-inspiring benchmark. In the Faust Fantaisie she displays a special affinity for the composer's lyricism while conducting his technical electricity without resistance. If her performance seems at first to lack the large-scale and fiery flamboyance of Berent Korfker's (AC 1-98028-2, 23:3), its greater warmth and assurance provide more than ample compensationùand the Competition's (formerly Gingold's) 1683 Stradivari sounds as rich in its own way as the 1703 "King Maximilian Joseph" Stradivari upon which Korfker plays, even if it doesn't possess the later violin's reedy strength.

Ronald Sat provides sensitive, atmospheric support, and Catalpa's engineers have captured the full bloom of the Stradivari upon which she plays. But the violinist's unique poetry, personalizing each of the diverse works, carries the recital. This sensitivity, rarer now perhaps than in past generations, should ingratiate her with audiences. And this first collection deserves morethoughtful attention than that almost automatically accorded to the megahyped debuts of hothoused prodigies. Highly recommended.

Robert Maxham
"Judith Ingolfsson gave a technically assured and interpretively astute recital at Carnegie Hallàand made her performance a journey to the soulful coreà.She gave a sizzling account, producing both fireworks and a singing tone." The New York Times, April, 2000

Icelandic violinist Judith Ingolfsson is the 1998 gold medal winner of the quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the violin world's most prestigious prize. Her artistry was recently heralded as "effortless; her tone ravishingly beautiful, pure and adaptable; her sense of style unerring; and her expressiveness simple, direct and strongly felt (Strings)."

Ms. Ingolfsson's Carnegie Hall debut recital in April 2000 affirmed her ascendancy as a rising star and gave notice of a virtuoso of extraordinary technical command, sensitivity, and compelling presence.In addition to her triumph in Indianapolis, that same year she received the Nathan Wedeen Management Award sponsored by Concert Artists Guild. She was also third prize laureate and audience favorite at the 1997 Paganini Violin Competition.

Since making her solo orchestral debut in Germany at the age of eight, Ms. Ingolfsson has appeared with numerous orchestras internationally. Recent season highlights include the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Wolfgang Sawallisch, the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony with Gerard Schwarz. She has also performed with the Kansas City Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice in Italy. In October 2000, Ms.Ingolfsson embarked on a 15-city North American tour with the Iceland Symphony that included the Kennedy Center and a return visit to Carnegie Hall.

As a recitalist, Ms. Ingolfsson is admired for her lyricism, profound musical conviction, and elegance of inter

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Herbert Barrett Management
Date First Submitted:04/15/2001