The sale sheet for this release list three unique selling points:
1) Debut CD
2) Very young artist
3) Repertoire exclusively by female composers
Only the last point captured my interest. And when I researched the release, I discovered they omitted a compelling fourth: the entire project was crowdfunded.
Personally, I think this debut release is a strong start to Lucie Bartholomäi’s recording career. By focusing on unusual repertoire (which she’s passionate about), we can hear how she actually performs, without comparing her to countless others treading the same ground.
And while she is young, she is a seasoned professional. Her star began to rise at age 5 and has now (at 18) been performing for thirteen years.
This is a well-thought-out program, nicely balanced between the Romantic and Modern periods. Louise Ferenc’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major is the largest work, written in the 1850s. Clara Schumann’s Three Romanzes also come from the same period. Both works solidly Romantic in style.
The modern is represented by three miniatures from Rebecca Clarke. And in between is Amy Beach’s Romance from 1893, which looks ahead to the new century.
Bartholomäi plays with clean precision. Her straight-forward performances let the music be the star, rather than the performer — but make no mistake. It takes a great deal of talent to accomplish this.
The recording quality is also good. The fundraising goals for this project were quite modest, and I think Bartholomäi made the best use of every Euro.
So I’d say check this release out because of the repertoire, and the performances. Age doesn’t matter here — just Bartholomäi’s considerable experience and musicality.
female: Works by Rebecca Clarke, Clara Schumann, Louise Farrenc, and Amy Beach
Lucie Bartholomäi, violin; Verena Louis, Piano
Genuin Classics GEN 21751