- Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35, M37
- Romance for violin & orchestra in F minor (arr. from Andante of Str Qrt No. 5), B. 39 (Op. 11)
- Violin Concerto in A minor, B. 96/B. 108 (Op. 53)
Despite the relatively short time since the dawn of her international career, which began in 2004, violinist Arabella Steinbacher is already leaving a significant mark on the concert stages and recording studios of the world by this 2009 recording. She is rapidly proving herself to be an extremely mature, well-developed artist capable of handling the most musically sophisticated compositions in her repertoire. Such is certainly the case with the present performance of Karol Szymanowski's intense, gripping "First Concerto." Few violinists tackle this marvelous concerto, but Steinbacher approaches it with every bit as much reverence as is typically given to concertos of Shostakovich or Bartók. What's more, her clear understanding of and unity with the score capture the attention of listeners from the first bar to the last. Her phenomenal technique allows her to focus on maintaining lines, coloring each note, and making sense of Szymanowski's melodic language. The PentaTone album continues with an equally engaging performance of the Dvorák "Violin Concerto." Although this concerto is performed with great frequency, Steinbacher's interpretation is energetic and driven, robust without being overly sentimental, and powerful without being forced. Marek Janowski leads the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in masterful, restrained accompaniments and rich, enthusiastic tuttis. PentaTone's sound, particularly for those listening in 5.1-channel surround sound, is warm, present, and clear.