Jennifer Pike's latest release, The Polish Violin Vol.2, has received compelling reviews from critics, continuing the success of the "ravishing" first disc, released in 2019.
Works by Szymanowski, Poldowski and Bacewicz on the disc are described as "revelatory", "magical" and "dazzlingly playful", with special praise given for Jennifer's virtuosity, wide-ranging colours and fine-tuned partnership with pianist Petr Limonov.
Full reviews of The Polish Violin Vol.2 can be read below:
"Volume two of Pike’s Polish odyssey hits the mark with magical playing...Jennifer Pike and Petr Limonov really come into their own, discovering a magical interpretive path that indulges [Szymanowski's] luxuriant tendency with exquisite subtlety and musical focus. This becomes still more revelatory in the three Paganini caprice realisations, in which Pike refocuses her glistening virtuosity to create a dream world of haunting reminiscences. So musically entwined are Pike’s and Limonov’s fine-tuned responses to La Berceuse d’Aïtacho Enia, that one wishes this trance-like miniature would go on unfurling indefinitely....In between comes a dazzlingly playful performance of Bacewicz’s solo violin Kaprys polski from Pike, who nonchalantly negotiates its pyrotechnical hurdles" - Julian Haylock, The Strad
"Full of the personality, sensuality and security that characterised the earlier disc... Pike's tone is a rich caramel, with a good hit of salt to bring out the full effect of the complex flavours of Szymanowski's remarkably confident student sonata...This follow-up is just as ravishing as its predecessor" - David Threasher, Gramophone
"As in her first volume, Jennifer Pike (herself half-Polish) has chosen to anchor her survey to a substantial helping of Szymanowski... [she gives] a sweeping performance of [Szymanowski’s] early Violin Sonata [...and] the haunting Berceuse d’Aïtacho Ania inspires a subtle palette of colours from Pike" - John Allison, BBC Music Magazine - performance ****, recording ****
"Pike brings real late-Romantic sweep and panache to all works, as well as to Grażyna Bacewicz’s little solo Caprice, and a tango by Poldowski that closes the disc" - Andrew Clements, The Guardian
"Pike again infuses her intense relationship with the music into her violin playing, so that all the works show a lot of energy. She maintains a balance between fleshing out the lines of musical development and passages that also require virtuosic mastery. The latter are found especially in the caprices, of which there are a greater number in Polish violin music" - Uwe Krsuch, Pizzicato.lu ****
Read more about the disc on the Chandos website here. More information about the first instalment of The Polish Violin can be found here.