all recordings

Stained Glass


Johan Dalene, violin

Christian Ihle Hadland, piano


“A telepathic interaction between violinist Johan Dalene and pianist Christian Ihle Hadland.” 5/5

Musikrevyn SR P1

The Strad Recommends, The Strad, October 2023

Album of the week, DR P2

Le Choc, Classica Magazine, October 2023

This recital brings together two established classics from the 20th century with lesser-known works from the repertoire for violin and piano. Alongside Ravel’s Sonata, a work that reveals the influence of jazz on the French composer, and Prokofiev’s wartime Sonata, Op. 94a, we find compositions by Arvo Pärt, Lili Boulanger, and Grażyna Bacewicz, which, at times meditative, at times lyrical, at times folk-inspired, testify to the richness of this repertoire. These works are performed by violinist Johan Dalene, the Swedish-Norwegian winner of the 2019 Nielsen Competition. Dalene is given the expert support of pianist Christian Ihle Hadland.

Johan Dalene is an Exclusive Recording Artist for BIS Records


  • "A rising star shows his mettle in chamber music. This is an attractive CD, made interesting by its repertoire and marvellous by its quality. Dalene brings ferocious energy to the second-movement Scherzo, with fierce sky-rocket arpeggios, balanced with lightness in the central section. After the graceful Andante he dashes off the finale with vigour and virtuosic finesse, and the two of them produce a barnstorming end to a performance full of colour and character."

    The Strad, Tim Homfray
  • "...brilliantly assembled collection of works... If you can begin to imagine magical flashes of light and color diffused through a stained-glass window, dancing across the room as they metamorphosize into sound, you'll get a sense of how special this miniature sounds. Dalene's Strad whispers, flashes, darts, and whirls as Hadland shines beside him through light and shadow. Where Kremer begins with a whisper, Dalene is far more forthright, his tone irresistibly fresh and gleaming, and the recording benefits from superior engineering. The touching poetry of Boulanger's subtle miniature stands in sharp contrast to Prokofiev's fabulous scherzo and circuslike finale. Ravel, too, revels in character, humor, amiability, and spice.", Jason Victor Serinus
  • "They allow enough time in the Scherzo for the jokes to land and their Andante is beautifully unaffected....The four works here are most persuasively played, ranging from a lively Humoresque and Moravian Dance to a lilting Lullaby and – most moving – the fragile, perfumed Stained-Glass Window that lends this fine album its title."

    Gramophone, Mark Pullinger
  • "...this is an album that will leave a lasting impression, and it is a bold, original stroke from a young violinist."

    AllMusic, James Manheim
  • "Stained Glass is memorably good, and it could be on my Want List at the end of the year.  Dalene is not afraid to make waves here.... In Ravel’s Sonata in G, he is similarly assertive; the tremolando passage that starts at about 5:00 in the opening Allegretto is played with uncommon fullness and an impressive arm. The Perpetuum mobile that ends the sonata suggests that there are no limits to what this violinist can do, at least in terms of technique. The Prokofiev sonata is played somewhat more conventionally, but the performance really leaves nothing to be desired. Dalene and Hadland play Stained-glass Window (also known as Witraż) considerably more slowly and mysteriously than other performers. That works too, and it brings the entire program to a satisfying close, almost bringing it full circle back to Fratres, in terms of affect.  In short, this is a smart program in which received wisdom about how the music is supposed to go is treated with appropriate skepticism. If you have any curiosity at all about it, give in to that curiosity."

    Fanfare, Raymond Tuttle
  • "Magic of stained glass. A journey as original as it is memorable into the 20th century, guided by a duo of experts... Once again Dalene and Hadland fascinate with their charm, their interaction and their palette of colors. Captivating from start to finish."

    Classica Magazine, Jean-Michel Molkhdu
  • "Dalene and his long-time piano partner Christian Ihle Hadland offer interesting, high-quality repertoire. The two artists congenially implement Ravel's original idea of illustrating the incompatibility of violin and piano and therefore not allowing the two sounds to merge with one another. Prokofiev's cheerful Violin Sonata No. 2 in radiant D major gives no hint of the shadows of war ....Dalene approaches his part briskly and decisively; with laser-sharp cantilenas, snappy accents and rhythmic drive. This violinist is at home in the “dramatic department”. He gives the Scherzo a wild energy with violent arpeggios. After a graceful Andante, the two artists bring the finale to a colorful and characterful conclusion. In addition to a poetic nocturne by Lili Boulanger, there are four rhythmically intricate, folklorist-inspired miniatures by Grażyna Bacewicz; Including her ethereal setting of flashes of light in a stained glass window, which gave this album its title."

    Klassik Heute, Antje Rößler
  • "Although there are only 70 years between the oldest and newest piece on this disc, we encounter contrasts in the music. And how they play! Hats off to Johan Dalene and Christian Ihle Hadland" 6/6

    Den Klassiske Musikkbloggen, Trond Erikson
  • " immensely satisfying disc full of outstanding playing."

    theWholeNote, Terry Robbins
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