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The Knights, Gil Shaham & Eric Jacobsen

Gil Shaham and The Knights Release “Beethoven and Brahms: Violin Concertos”

The groundbreaking NYC-based orchestra The Knights welcomes Grammy Award-winner and Musical America 2012 “Instrumentalist of the Year” Gil Shaham for their second album recording together, pairing the sole violin concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. The album, out March 12, 2021 on Shaham’s Canary Classics label, features the violinist’s first recording of the Beethoven concerto, and follows Shaham and the Knights’ Grammy-nominated 2016 recording of the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2. The ensemble celebrated the album’s release by playing a virtual concert for the brand new series created by GBH and IDAGIO, “Performance Reimagined.

Read the full press release.

Listen on Canary Classics | Presto Classical | Spotify | AppleMusic

Interviews and Previews
Watch The Knights & Gil Shaham play Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

WGBH Open Studio with Jared Bowen

Violin Channel Interview with Gil Shaham and Eric Jacobsen

Cultural Attaché Interview: Violinist Gil Shaham and his Joy in Playing Beethoven

WABE Interview: Violinist Gil Shaham Guides Us Through Beethoven And Brahms In New Recording With The Knights

WFMT Interview with Gil Shaham (listen)

WCRB Interview with Gil Shaham (listen)

WQED Interview with Gil Shaham (listen)

APM New Classical Tracks Interview with Gil Shaham (listen)

WETA Album of the Week | March 22, 2021

Critical Acclaim
“The opening strains of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, Allegro ma non troppo, greet the listener with the astounding beauty and elegance of the composer’s only violin concerto before bursting with the raw intensity that became Beethoven’s trademark orchestral sound. It seduces and captures the imagination—and you’d expect no less from master concert violinist Gil Shaham and the Knights, the critically acclaimed New York–based chamber orchestra. But the opening passages also challenge with a flurry of octaves, arpeggios, scales, and broken thirds. This is Shaham’s first recording of Beethoven and, in popular parlance, he wastes no time in owning it.”

“Shaham’s Beethoven is worth the wait. It’s torrid: fresh and lively as ever…Shaham’s rapport with The Knights is total…these two performances showcase a group of instrumentalists whose collective musicianship is electrifying: full of just the right combination of wonder, play, and discovery this much-loved repertoire needs in order to sound fresh and truly come to life…This is a release that firmly demonstrates the value of artists committing these well-recorded warhorses to disc only when they’ve actually got something to say about them, rather than just for the hell of it. Shaham and The Knights have plenty to offer in both concerti — and their thoughts are well worth considering.”
The Arts Fuse

“When Shaham enters with the violin, he does so with a flourish. His musicianship is impeccable, a violin virtuoso of the highest order. More important, Shaham practically attacks the score, imbuing it with vigor and enthusiasm, yet losing nothing of the music’s inherent lyrical qualities. Along with the interpretation by Jascha Heifetz, Shaham’s performance is among the most exciting I’ve ever heard on record…there’s that bouncy Rondo, Allegro, where Shaham shows us how playful he can get. It helps, too, to have so responsive a group as The Knights behind him, who complement him perfectly with their own heartiness and exuberance…Although Brahms’s concerto is a little more complex and a bit more difficult to manage than Beethoven’s, Shaham negotiates it with an assuredness that comes from years of dedication and experience. His approach is flawless, cogent, and persuasive. As in the Beethoven, his playing is keen and ebullient, bringing a consummate joy to the music. These performances are laser focused yet spontaneous, pleasing in every regard.”
Classical Candor

“The fluidity, the freshness and the naturalness of his phrasing and his articulation is exemplary…The rich colours of his 1719 Stradivarius enhance the freedom of improvisation. ..In the first movement, the contrast… between the breadth and the power of the orchestral exposition and the incredible lightness in the development is negotiated with mastery.”