This album is a first for Romanian (now based in the US) violinist Irina Muresanu. Four Strings Around the World traverses four continents, exploring and celebrating “diverse musical cultures through the unifying voice of solo violin.”

Her journey begins with fellow Romanian George Enescu, and it’s apparent from the opening bars of his Airs in Romanian Folk Style that Muresanu has a wonderfully arresting and nuanced tone. Deeper in, this carefully chosen collection of unaccompanied works allows Muresanu to share an extraordinary sonic palette in which her 1849 Giuseppe Rocca violin seems at times to have its own breath. There are a few obvious choices from the solo violin canon – Bach’s famous Chaconne, Paganini’s Caprice No 24 and Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo are Western Europe’s representatives on the world tour – and it’s fascinating to hear these differently when located in an international context.

Highlights include Calligraphy No 5 by Iranian composer Reza Vali (b. 1952), Dave Flynn’s (b. 1977, Ireland) Tar Éis an Caoineadh and the absolutely mesmerising Oshta (Four) by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (b. 1968) of the Chickasaw Nation, of which this recording is the world premiere. And speaking of recording, the sound here is superb, with Muresanu’s richly present violin basking in a warm silence that highlights every nuance of her playing. On all levels, a very impressive release.

Composer: Enescu, Paganini
Composition: Violin music
Performer: Irina Muresanu v
Catalogue Number: Dorian Sono Luminus DSL92221