November 3, 2017
"Ehnes’s playing is a marvel. The various extended trills in the first movement are so lightly and evenly articulated as to suggest a heart aflutter. He can whip up excitement, as he does with finely honed precision in the two Kreisler cadenzas. But, really, it’s his – and Manze’s – thoughtfulness and patience that make this recording so satisfying." Even in the cadenzas, the exhilaration comes as much from Ehnes’s gradual building of tension as from his virtuosity. Note, too, how he integrates himself into the orchestral part. Just after the first exquisite trill, for instance, where the music turns to the minor mode (at 5'32"), his playing suddenly becomes more subdued and deliberate, as if he were providing a running commentary, sotto voce, to the orchestral argument. And again, in the finale, he pulls back at 3'38" so he’s accompanying the bassoon’s melody rather than dancing on top of it. Both Ehnes and Manze are careful to give full value to the music’s silences. This is particularly effective in the raptly lyrical Larghetto, where one is made aware that the music’s fabric is actually all in pieces. Only at 4'31" does Beethoven finally unfurl a long-breathed stretch of melody – and how tenderly Ehnes caresses it. In the finale, Manze has the RLPO really dig in, without any sacrifice of tonal plushness, creating a heady atmosphere of rustic vigour that highlights the concerto’s relationship with the Pastoral Symphony. The two Romances are presented as aria-like scenas. Ehnes’s firm legato phrasing and rhythmic poise provide dramatic backbone, and he heightens the sense of contrast in the central sections with sharply etched articulation... Ehnes and Manze have given us a Beethoven Concerto to stand among the very best."
August 3, 2017
The Ehnes Quartet's recording of Schubert's String Quartet No 14 and the Sibelius String Quartet, Op 56 on the ONYX label is nominated for a Gramophone Award. Category winners are announced on September 1 and on September 13 is the Awards dinner where the Recording of the Year will be revealed.
May 9, 2017
At the Royal Philharmonic Society's annual awards ceremony, held on May 9 at The Brewery in the heart of the City of London, James Ehnes was awarded Instrumentalist of the Year. In making the award, the jury's comment was cited: "Blessed with a generosity of spirit and an innate musicality, James Ehnes, even by his own standards, had a wonderfully productive 40th birthday year. Whether as Artist in Residence at the Liverpool Philharmonic ; acclaimed country-wide concerto, recital and quartet performances or participation in the ‘In Harmony’ programme, he delivered an extraordinary breadth of communication through his eloquent music making.
April 6, 2017
Canadian violinist James Ehnes is to join the roster of the Royal Academy of Music as Visiting Professor of Violin. Ehnes is one of the finest violinists of his generation, combining an international solo career with chamber music, and with an extensive and wide-ranging recording catalogue.His first masterclass in his new role will be on 15th June, and will be broadcast on Facebook Live.
April 3, 2016 | News
On Saturday night James won his 11th JUNO Award for his recording of Franck & Strauss Violin Sonatas (Onyx Classics) with pianist Andrew Armstrong in the category of Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble. Congratulations!