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Humoresque cover art

Track Listing

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1Humoresque, Op. 101, No. 7 (Antonín Dvorák, arr. Franz Waxman)4:16
2City Montage (Franz Waxman)1:55
3You Do Something to Me (Cole Porter, arr. John Musto)4:14
4Carmen Fantasie (Franz Waxman, after Georges Bizet)10:59
5Embraceable You (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin, arr. Russell Warner)6:32
6Sonata No. 1 in G Minor: Presto (J. S. Bach)2:53
7The Flight of the Bumblebee (Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. Franz Waxman)1:05
8Symphonie Espagnole op. 21: First Movement (Edouard Lalo)7:59
9What Is This Thing Called Love? (Cole Porter, arr. Russell Warner)3:57
10Tristan and Isolde Fantasie (Franz Waxman, after Richard Wagner)10:39
11Humoresque, Op. 101, No. 7 (Antonín Dvorák, arr. Franz Waxman)4:19

About this Album

Inspired by the 1947 Warner Bros. film of the same name, Humoreque is the renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg's first album for Nonesuch, as well as the realization of a long-standing wish: “I have found myself drawn to the Humoresque story, a document of a musician’s life, and a story I have lived.”

The program of the disc is highlighted by first recordings of arrangements and compositions by Hollywood scoring legend Franz Waxman, whose aria-like Carmen Fantasie is considered among the most difficult pieces ever written for the violin. Dvorák’s melodic title work, which opens and closes the set, frames a diverse group of works including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, a solo movement from J. S. Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, as well as standards by George Gershwin and Cole Porter sung by Broadway singer/actor Judy Blazer. Principal accompaniment is provided by the London Symphony, conducted by Andrew Litton.

The film, which stars John Garfield, Joan Crawford, and Oscar Levant, tells the story of a young man’s rise from New York’s Lower East Side to a career as a concert violinist. Humoresque is among the few films to feature classical music in a central role, with a score conducted by Waxman, and violin playing by a young Isaac Stern. In addition to the Carmen themes, Waxman arranged the title work, a Tristan and Isolde Fantasie, and contributed a composition entitled City Montage. He supervised the entire musical content of the picture, and earned an Oscar nomination. “I have always been attracted to the way that Waxman could bring together all of these different types of music” comments Salerno-Sonnenberg, “from Bach to the standard violin war-horses, from movie music to the great popular songs that speak so distinctly of that era—all that I have always loved, each piece with its own place in my life.”

One of modern classical music’s most intensely passionate performers, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is widely regarded as one of America’s most dynamic violin soloists, a riveting presence on the world’s concert stages for over 25 years.


Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin
Judy Blazer, vocals (3, 9)
Leslie Stifelman, piano (3, 5, 9, 10, 11)
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton

Produced by Karen Chester
Engineered by Tom Lazarus
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10 recorded January 1997 at Studio One, Abbey Road Studios, London
Assistant Engineers: Mark Rogers, Alex Scannell
Tracks 5, 9, and 11 recorded May 1997 at Master Sound Astoria Studios, New York City
Assistant Engineer: David Merrill
Track 3 recorded October 1997 at the Hit Factory, New York City
Assistant Engineers: Ian Dalsemer, Chuck Bailey
Edited, mixed, and mastered at Classic Sound, New York City
Editing Engineer: Carl Talbot
Additional mastering at Sound on Sound, New York City

Design by Barbara deWilde
Photographs of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg by Holister Dru-Breslin

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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