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Rachel Barton Pine Turns Her Sights to the Latin World

Violinist excels on this brilliant collection of solo-violin works

Rachel Barton Pine

Representing composers from Argentina, Cuba, Panama, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela, plus works in a Spanish vein by Belgian and English composers, Rachel Barton Pine’s dramatic new CD of music for solo violin, Capricho Latino [Cedille], includes many first-time recordings of pieces composed or arranged for Pine, plus two of her own arrangements. 

An avid collector of solo violin material from around the globe, Pine has made brilliant discoveries here, including Roque Cordero’s complex and rewarding Rapsodia Panameña; two stunners by the Galician virtuoso Manuel Quiroga (1892–1961); Uruguayan composer/conductor Jose Serebrier’s Aires de Tango, written for this recording; and a hair-raising Astor Piazzolla arrangement by Pine herself.

Pine’s connections with the music become personal with Luis Jorge González’s vivid Epitalamio Tanguero, composed as a wedding present for her and husband Greg Pine. The program ends with Alain Ridout’s charming Ferdinand the Bull, featuring a bluff, adorable Hector Elizondo as the narrator. In among the larger pieces, Pine shows a genius for simplicity in the arrangements and adaptations, as in Jesús Florido’s commissioned adaptation of the popular guitar romance, Balada Española.

Elbio Barilari’s liner notes mix absorbing historical background with insightful comments from Pine. As for the sound, producer Judith Sherman, the WFMT studios in Chicago, and Pine’s “ex-Soldat” Guarneri del Gesu (Cremona, 1742), Vision Titanium Solo strings by Thomastik-Infeld, and Dominique Peccatte bow were clearly made for each other.

*This article appeared in Strings February 2014
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