Nicola Benedetti Goes Hollywood with 'The Silver Violin'

Sunday, February 10, 2013

No instrument is perhaps more identified with the lush, Romantic sound of Golden Age Hollywood than the violin. Acknowledging cinema’s links to the instrument – and forgetting the musical snobs – Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti releases “The Silver Violin,” a collection of pieces from films of the 1930s to the present.

The 25-year-old Benedetti has been active on the scene in the UK for close to a decade, and is now setting her sights more deliberately on America. In September she performed the Ryder Cup golf tournament closing ceremony in Illinois, an event watched by millions. Further US dates are scheduled including an appearance in The Greene Space at WQXR on Feb. 22. "The Silver Violin" comes just in time for movie awards season.

Korngold's Violin Concerto is the album’s centerpiece, a piece that shares tunes with his film score to “The Prince and the Pauper.” Benedetti applies a lush tone but also a welcome degree of rhythmic firmness and forward momentum, essential in a work that can degenerate into a sentimental wallow in the wrong hands.

The rest of the album balances works written expressly for film with concert works that were later adapted by Hollywood. Thus there’s John Williams’s theme from “Schindler's List" (originally an Itzhak Perlman vehicle), a Dario Marianelli cue from “Jayne Eyre” and Howard Shore’s Concertino from "Eastern Promises." These are juxtaposed with Mahler’s Quartet for Piano and Strings in A minor (featured in “Shutter Island”), Gardel’s Tango (“Scent of a Woman”) and several Shostakovich selections. It doesn’t hurt that Benedetti looks like a Hollywood starlet too.

The Silver Violin
Nicola Benedetti, violin
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Kirill Karabits, conductor
Available at


More in:

Comments [1]


Thank you for an exquisite Valentine's Week selection!

Feb. 15 2013 03:34 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.


About Albums of the Week

The Albums of the Week are compelling new recordings that we spotlight every week. These include creative repertoire choices, engaging musical personalities and artistic statements that stand out from the pack. You can hear the Albums of the Week throughout the day and evening on WQXR.