An American in Paris

Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 00:00


An American in Paris

Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Huw Watkins, George Gershwin, Jascha Heifetz, Charles Ives, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc

Champs Hill Records


English violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen’s début CD celebrates her mixed European/American heritage. She features Ives and Gershwin in guises you might not expect, adding to Heifetz’s celebrated Porgy and Bess arrangements his rarely heard, fascinatingly un-garish arrangement of An American in Paris, like a sepia print of the bright original. She also throws in a reconstruction by John Kirkpatrick of Ives’s own arrangement for violin and piano of his Decoration Day. Waley-Cohen and her pianist, Huw Watkins, are as laid-back in Ravel’s Sonata in G as they are gutsy in Poulenc’s Violin Sonata. And they’re careful not to over-cook the numbers from Porgy and Bess.