Shaham’s Octet

Gil Shaham plays Haydn & Mendelssohn


  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob.VIIa:1
  • Violin Concerto No. 4 in G major, Hob.VIIa:4


  • Octet in E flat major, Op. 20

Gil Shaham, violin and director of the Sejong Soloists

The association between Gil Shaham and Sejong Soloists goes back over a decade, and this music benefits from a US tour in April 2009 just prior to the recording sessions.

Mr. Shaham and the Sejong group give this repertoire a sense of real intimacy and engagement. The Haydn concerti display Shaham’s amazing technique and lyrical tone – communicating like few others can – and the Sejong follow his direction and Haydn’s originality and humor magnificently.

Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major is one of THE crown jewel of chamber music. In this recording, Gil Shaham combines aspects from Mendelssohn’s original manuscript version of the Octet, which saw him achieve instant fame, and the final published edition, the 2 versions being separated by 7 years and several revisions.

Here, for the first time, the music world can hear the spirit with which Mendelssohn first brought this work to the world. Of particular significance are the considerably more lively tempi adopted from the original manuscript. Shaham and the Sejong group execute this music with amazing clarity, the sound being lush and sumptuous yet with an amazing sense of intimacy.

This recording is one of those rare occasions where the ensemble and repertoire come together, the ultimate triumph being the blend and balance achieved by Shaham and the supporting Sejong to completely immerse the listener in the moment.

Here is Shaham talking about the Mendelssohn Octet:

“Gil Shaham and the Sejong Soloists – a handpicked ensemble of young musicians – present a driving performance, bustling and forward-moving in the opening Allegro…building cumulatively to a chattering contrapuntal finale that demonstrates these players’ admirable abilities individually and in ensemble.”
………………………..Gramophone Magazine, June 2010

“The Sejong Soloists muster a propulsive verve in the first movement…Both Scherzo and Finale work best, the former because the half-lit filigree is beautifully realised, the latter thanks to the guiding hand of some exhilarating counterpoint.”
…………………………BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ***

Tags: Gil Shaham, Sejong Soloists, Mendelssohn, Haydn

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