Recordings

 

See Ragin's Repertoire

MEDITATION

Newly re-released by Centaur Records

Works by: Massenet, Kreisler, Chopin/Milstein, Gershwin/Heifetz, Wladigeroff, de Falla, Brahms/Kreisler, Ravel, Liadov, Dvorak, Albeniz and Rachmaninoff

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – Violin
Kaare Ørnung –  Piano

First release:  Varèse International VS-84001

ROMANTIC CONCERTOS

Röntgen: Violin Concerto in A minor (WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING)
Chausson: Poème
Hubay: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G minor Op. 99 *

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – violin
Dvorak Symphony Orchestra – Stanislav Bogunia, conductor
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra – Dennis Burkh, conductor

NUIT EXOTIQUE

Includes:

Vittorio Monti – Czardas
Brahms – Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 2
Hubay – Hejre Kati, Op. 32
Sarasate – Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
De Falla – Nana
Pancho Vladigerov – Chant, Op. 21/2
Mischa Elman – Eili, Eili
Joseph Achron – Hebrew Lullaby
Ernest Bloch – Nigun & Nuite Exotique
Ravel – Pièce en forme de Habanera & Tzigane for violin and “lutheal”

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – violin
Rohan De Silva – piano

JOHAN KVANDAL

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 52

RAGNAR SÖDERLIND

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 46

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – violin
The Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra – Dennis Burkh, conductor.

MEDITATION

(First release)

Works by:
Massenet, Kreisler, Chopin/Milstein, Gershwin/Heifetz, Wladigeroff, de Falla, Brahms/Kreisler, Ravel, Liadov, Dvorak, Albeniz and Rachmaninoff

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – Violin
Kaare Ørnung – Piano

First release:  Varèse International VS-84001

IVER HOLTER

Includes:
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A minor,
Op.22 Symphony in F Major, Op. 3

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – Violin
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Per Dreier, Conductor

NKFCD 50020-2

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FROM NORWAY

Works by Johan Kvandal, including:
Antagonia, Concerto Op. 38 String Quartet,
No.2 Op. 27 Sonata for Violin Solo Op. 45
“For Ragin”

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – Violin
Orchestra conducted by Karsten Andersen

Philips 6507.060

JOHAN KVANDAL 

Works by Johan Kvandal including:
Sonata for Violin Solo Op.45
“for Ragin+

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – Violin

Aurora ACD 4986

REIDAR THOMMESSEN 

Hør en enkel vuggesang
Lengsel
Når stjernene tennes
and other waltzes

Performed by

Ragin Wenk-Wolff – Violin
Knut Skram – voice
Eileen Knapper – voice
Thorbjørn Lindhjem – voice

Orchestra conducted by
Sigurd Jansen
Carsten Klouman
Ragnar Söderlind

NOPA 2900

Reviews

ROMANTIC CONCERTOS


Ragin Wenk-Wolff is a fairly young violinist of considerable talent. Actually, she studied with Milstein in 1979, so she isn’t all that young. The most important work here is unquestionably Julius Rontgen’s (1855-1932) Violin Concerto in A (1902). Most other recordings of Rontgen’s music have been on the Dutch NM label. This one is a world premiere. It is a broadly written work that is sometimes reminiscent of Brahms, but is always clearly by Rontgen. Wenk-Wolff plays it beautifully and is well supported by Stanislav Bogunia and the Dvorak Symphony. In short it is a welcome addition to the catalogs, and anyone with the slightest interest in out-of-the-way works will surely be pleased with it. Ernest Chausson’s Poeme was written earlier than the Rontgen and is filled with Chausson’s own unique blend of French romanticism. I have several favorite recordings, including Oistrach/Munch (RCA), Perlman/Martinon (EMI), and Grumiaux/Szell (Radio Netherlands). This reading does equal them in many ways, and it is Milstein-like. The Jeno Hubay (1858-1937) Third Concerto was recorded some three years earlier. She tells in her notes how she had always wanted to record Hubay after meeting Edle Hubay, Jeno’s daughter-in-law, and being told that she and Hubay would have “hit it off” had they been contemporaries and actually met. That may be true. Aaron Rosand, her teacher, also recorded this, but his reading is too quick for my taste. This recording is also good and well balanced.

Recommended for the Rontgen.
Bauman, American Record Guide, March 2007

There is a passionate zeal and imperativeness about these recordings that took me back to my early days as a collector, when I used to pick all kinds of obscurities on the Vox label (then distributed in the UK as Turnabout/Decca) played by the likes of Ruggiero Ricci and Suzanne Lautenbacher (a hugely underrated Szeryng pupil). Just like those 1960s and 70s delights and in total contrast to the glacial perfection so often encountered on disc nowadays, Ragin Wenk-Wolff goes into interpretive meltdown here, soaring aloft in the Röntgen and Hubay concertos with heart-warming sincerity….her scorching commitment (and that of her accompanists)… Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) … a lush harmonic idiom reminiscent in places of Scriabin. The Hubay possesses marginally the stronger profile … performed like this, enhanced by physically imposing sound, you might almost be persuaded it was a lost masterpiece.

Julian Haylock
The Strad, September 2006

Julius Röntgen (1855-1932), friend of Brahms and Grieg and greatly admired by Tovey, is little known today. This premiere recording reveals a large-scale work in traditional form. For me, the most attractive and memorable music comes in the finale, with its colourful rhythms and harmonies. The preceding Lento has a pleasant, dreamy quality; its elaborately decorated violin lines à la Spohr benefit from the sweet tone of Ragin Wenk-Wolff’s Strad. In the Chausson, the playing is persuasively expressive. Wenk-Wolff’s account of the Hubay makes a fascinating contrast to Hagai Shaham’s. Her slower speeds in the outer movements allow her to dig more deeply into the expressive character of what can seem rather superficial music. The finale’s second theme sings with real passion, rather than just floating above the woodwind figuration. And in the Slovak orchestra’s playing we’re keenly aware of the proximity of the Hungarian border.

Duncan Druce
Gramophone, December 2006

NUIT EXOTIQUE


 “I recommend this CD… Ragin’s passion for this music gives these already attractive melodies spontaneous new life, with high-voltage playing, bright and strong, and with a lot of impact… Reaches out to the audience’s heart…. There are no other musicians who can mesmerize an audience like she does… In this CD, pianist Rohan De Silva plays a lutheal in the Tzigane, which sounds a lot more ‘gypsy’ than a standard piano. This is a major selling point for this CD… Ragin’s 1689 Strad has a great tone and Centaur has produced a recording of high quality… All fans of violin music should buy this CD.”

Hi-Fi Review (Hong Kong)

 

JOHAN KVANDAL


Magnificent recording of new Norwegian violin concertos.

A real jewel. May we predict that this recording will be standing as one of the really great presentations of Norwegian contemporary music this decade!

Kjell Moe
www.pluto.no/kulturspeilet

Ragin gave the first performance of both concertos and provides all the brilliance these technically demanding scores require. Intonation is immaculate even in the most taxing passages, and her 1689 Stradivari produces a beautifully silky tone in the central movement of the Kvandal. The Czech orchestra…is a highly skilled ensemble and the recording quality leaves nothing to be desired.

David Denton
The Strad, June 1998


All enthusiasts for Nordic music – no, all enthusiasts for good music – should put this disc at the top of their shopping lists. – she performs with a burning intensity.

Martin Anderson
Fanfare, September/October 1997


Ragin’s choice of two ‘contemporary’ violin concertos speaks well for her dedication to music. Her playing on a 1689 Stradivarius is impeccable. – The central movement (Kvandall) is unambiguously romantic in a way that all but suggests Heifetz in Korngold. Ragin’s flamboyant playing exploits the gypsying rhythmics of the finale.

Two Scandinavian violin concertos with the Kvandal more folksy than the prickly-inventive Söderlind. If you have a taste for the Nielsen, Rawsthorne and Bartok concertos you will like the Kvandal. If you prefer a strain bred from the Walton, Schuman, Berg and Frankel concertos then the Söderlind is a must-have.

An unaccountably overlooked disc.

Rob Barnett
Music Web, April 2003

A sensational recording. Ragin is an outstanding soloist.

Idar Karevold
Aftenposten, Oslo, Norway, January 1998