Review by: David Vernier

Artistic Quality: 2

Sound Quality: 6

Linda Brava (née Lampenius–big surprise they changed the name) became famous not for her violin playing, but because she was featured naked in Playboy magazine–the first classical musician ever to achieve this “honor”. She also works as a fashion model, has made some TV appearances in Finland (her native country) and in the US (not surprisingly on Baywatch), plays techno, pop, metal and rock with electric violin, and has her own brand of cider (I kid you not). “In her spare time”, say the liner notes, “she skis, scuba-dives, races cars, works out 2½ hours a day, studies acting, and attends improvisation classes and comedy workshops”. One can’t but wonder whether this healthy, blond, Scandinavian hefty-busted version of Vanessa Mae has got any time left to practice the violin. If this collection, her debut classical CD, is any indication, the answer is “not much”. Scratchy sonority, shaky intonation, stiff bow, lack of projection, and an annoyingly cautious technique are not exactly the most appealing of artistic calling cards. Her entire program plods along at a desperately slow tempo, and is performed with the same excruciatingly dull, expressionless tone. Most decent students from provincial conservatories sound at least as good, if not better, than this. The result is not quite utterly degrading , but was it worth adding it to the hundreds of useless CDs that clutter the shelves of record stores? Obviously, the people up there at EMI Classics don’t care. Obviously, they enjoy looking at playmates more than listening to classical violin. In the case of Linda Brava, they might be right. [Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in what perhaps caught EMI’s attention in the first place, check out this address:

Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Album Title: LINDA BRAVA
Reference Recording: None

EDWARD ELGAR - Salut d'amour
JEAN SIBELIUS - Rondino; Humoreske I; Romance
J.S. BACH/GOUNOD - Ave Maria
EDVARD GRIEG - Sonata No. 3 in C minor op. 45
JULES MASSENET - Méditation de Thaïs
FRITZ KREISLER - Marche miniature viennoise

  • Linda Brava (violin)
    John Lenehan (piano)
  • EMI - 56922
  • CD

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