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November 25, 2008
A violinist makes a poetic statement...


It's curious how the memory of a performance can grow in stature the longer it stews in the brain.

It's now been two days since I saw the violinist Jorja Fleezanis perform as soloist in Ernst Chausson's "Poeme." This was during the 50th anniversary gala of the UC Davis Orchestra on Sunday evening.

And I can't keep the sonic image of Fleezanis making short work of the "Poeme" out of my mind.

Maybe it is the fact that Fleezanis owns one of the most melodic and clear tones of any violinist I've heard in quite a long time. And so, it's no mystery that her career has taken her from associate concertmaster at the San Francisco Symphony to concertmaster at the Minnesota Orchestra, (a post she has held since 1989).

On Sunday Fleezanis showed the Mondavi audience how excellent technique allows you to nail down the tone and many expressions demanded of this tricky and patently French work.

If you are a violin lover, and you don't know about Fleezanis, keep your eye out for this great instrumentalist. You will not be disappointed.

Below are some recordings to get you started.

"Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin." With Cyril Huvé, fortepiano (Cypres, three discs).

"Aaron Jay Kernis: Brilliant Sky, Infinite Sky." With Sanford Sylvan, baritone, Daniel Druckman, percussion and Robert Helps, piano (CRI).

"Richard Strauss: A Hero's Life." With the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Eiji Oue (Reference Recordings).

"John Tavener: Ikon of Eros." With the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Paul Goodwin (Reference Recordings).

"Stefan Wolpe: Violin Sonata." With Garrick Ohlsson, piano (Koch International).

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