Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Blendulf, conductor
"This is one of the finest violin debuts of the last decade"
BBC Music Magazine
"The world at his feet: Dalene’s disc debut has the wow factor" Julian Haylock wrote in the BBC Music Magazine, naiming the disc Concerto Choice of the Month. Praised by critics, both nationally and internationally, the CD is on Gramophone's list of "The best new classical albums: Editor's Choice, February 2020", announced as "Record of the Week" on BBC Radio 3’s programme Record Review and also awarded with "Diapason Découverte" in the Diapason Magazine for April 2020.
Recorded in De Geerhallen, Norrköping, 7-11 January 2019, with conductor Daniel Blendulf and the Norrköping Symhony Orchestra, the disc features Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major – coupled with Barber’s Violin Concerto Op. 14. Producer was Jens Braun (Take5 Music Production). Norrköping Symphony Orchestra is known from many acclaimed recordings on BIS but is also Johan’s ‘local’ band: born and raised in the town of Norrköping, Johan has performed with the orchestra several times and was its artist-in-residence 2018/19.
"The Tchaikovsky and Barber Concertos are pieces I truly love..." Johan has said. "Being my first ever recording, I wanted to play pieces that I had performed a lot and being able to record these two fantastic violin concertos is a dream come true... I hope the listener can hear what I find so great about these concertos... the warmth and depth in Barber’s music is spellbinding whilst Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is virtuosic, romantic – and full of charm and humour."
Johan is an Exclusive Recording Artist for BIS Records.
"From the shaping of his solo entrance in the Tchaikovsky alone there’s ”presence” about Johan Dalene’s playing that announces a musician of special sensibilities….. And when we come to the cadenza his super-subtle shadings illuminate phrases that have long been taken for granted. It’s playing that genuinely draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat….When Dalene finally gets his turn it is testament to a maturity way beyond his years that he comes close to breaking your heart with it. He’s future is bright indeed."
"The world at his feet: Dalene’s disc debut has the wow factor….I’ve must have heard the Tchaikovsky Concerto hundreds of times, yet Dalene’s freshness, vitality and interpretative charisma swept me along….Dalene plays throughout with an engaging flair, command and emotional range remarkable from such a young player.…this is one of the finest violin debuts of the last decade." Performance: 5/5, Recording: 5/5
"Subtle nuances, vivid contrasts, explosive rhythm and exemplary co-ordination with the orchestra combine to make this version a very serious alternative to the excellent recent recordings of Alexander Gilman (Oehms), Joshua Bell (Decca), Vadim Gluzman (BIS) or James Ehnes (Onyx)."
"Dalene’s sophistication is remarkable…. He communicates the time-honored Tchaikovsky Concerto with a subtlety and musical finesse that seems totally unexpected…. It is impossible to listen to Dalene from bar to bar without being alerted to the freshness and instinctiveness of his playing. We are invited into intimate contact in a special way that bodes well for his future; I can’t think of anyone on the current scene who sounds like this. It’s an event when a young musician appears and is immediately recognized as a mature artist. ...this is a remarkable debut disc."
"Die Kaufempfehlung konkretisiert sich ganz unbedingt bei Barber, zumindest für alle Musikhörenden, die gern auf höchstem Niveau wachträumen, denn Barbers Meisterwerk blüht hier im Lyrischen und Kontemplativen auf. Der von betörenden Wechseln getragene Raum der Klangfarbenfortschreitungen klingt einfach wunderbar und im Gleichgewicht: Beglückendes Äquilibrium im Miteinander und Ineinander von Dirigent, Solist und Orchester. Ob innig, ätherisch oder wie in dem – mal manischen, mal quecksilbrigen – Finalsatz auch draufgängerisch, die Musikerinnen und Musiker erweisen sich in jeder Lage und Stimmungslage als exzellent." Künstleriche Qualität: 9/10, Klangqualität: 10/10, Gesamteindrück: 10/10
"His playing, though full of individual character, is refressingly direct and simple, as if his primary aim is to fullfill the wishes of the composer."
"The rhapsodic theme of the central movement is performed with a fresh attitude, before the finale gives the soloist the opportunity to shine, showing even more virtuosity: every chord, every rapid passage is well-articulated, leaving every note to be heard precisely. Johan Dalene, a name to remember." 4/5
"This is a gloriously beautiful, heartfelt performance... Dalene gets my vote for some of the most amazing fiddling in the Tchaikovsky I’ve ever heard or are ever likely to hear again."
"Dalene’s interpretation is a must-listen, showing him as an artist who pocess a rare musicality…. Delicate, yet highly expressive, Dalene’s connection to the music is deep throughout….With an impressive debut recording such as this, we can certainly look forward to what Dalene has to offer in the future."
"An artist who is fully mature in spite of all his youth, for whom technically top-class playing is a matter of course, which serves to transport musical content convincingly and to tell it in a new way. ...the violinists extremely elegant playing makes one speechless."
"...with the performance of Barber’s Concerto that for me goes right to the top.…it’s absolutely brilliant, a display of virtuosity by both the violinist and orchestra, yet without any vapid "showmanship". Believe me, this performance is no youthful outing."
"Barbers first theme is beautifully played and Dalene is quite skittish in contrasting passages."
"There is a captivating esprit and freshness in Dalene’s Tchaikovsky that overwhelmes me."
"It is rich in nauance, passionate and exquisitely coherent. Everything about it is simply first class and this interpretation of Barber’s Concerto belongs to the very best of recordings."
"One of the most breathtaking young talents that I have heard in years." 6/6