Bernadett’s Redemption may only have two songs, but the Hungarian violinist and composer demonstrates an impressive range in two performances. Her skills for exploring melody separates her from many other violinists but another aspect distinguishing her is the robust fullness of each performance. The backing is never an afterthought. Instead, Bernadett has crafted sympathetic arrangements for her violin playing that highlight her while still never discharging their duties in a cookie-cutter way.
She has both the innate talent and training to make it work. Her studies at Graz, Austria’s Music Academy, and with globally recognized violinist and Professor Silvia Marcovici reinforced her talents while providing fresh perspectives on composition and performance alike. She began playing music long before her tenth birthday and the required dedication is woven into her DNA.
“Redemption” feints a little with its introduction, but generates palpable energy early on. There are moments when it seems like Bernadett’s violin playing follows the same sort of trajectory we’d expect from a lead guitarist, but her virtuosity is at another level. She does not unreel customary elegant lines one after another, those are here, but revels in the full emotional gamut her fingers can conjure.
She ratchets up the intensity at key points during the song. “Redemption” is a brisk yet atmospheric number, the secondary instruments giving it an irresistibly bright and thoroughly contemporary sheen. This sense of the past and present colliding with compelling results is alive elsewhere in the title song – her violin playing scales higher peaks than ever before and the rise and fall of emotion will move all but the hardest of hearts.
Some will long for a live band during the title song. The pre-programmed backing is steady and on point, but there is nothing for some listeners like hearing a crack band keeping up with a blazing soloist every step of the way. It elevates everything. Others will not much attention to such fare, however, because the star of the show for them is Bernadett’s violin playing. She fills the spotlight without ever dominating it.
She deserves serious kudos for taking up the mantle of someone who wants to reach the widest possible audience with an instrument laboring with a host of preconceived notions. She doesn’t let people’s conception of what is violin appropriate get in the way, however, of her chasing after her artistic dreams. The title song is a phoenix reborn from the ashes, redeemed and surging towards a vast and sunlit sky. Its vitality is unmistakable.
It is vitality she will sustain with her work to come. Bernadett has a clear and powerful commitment to communicating with her audience and it is natural to expect her musical presence and depth will continue growing. “Redemption” is a small taste of what will come later on, but what a delectable taste. There is enough going on in these two songs to nourish even the strictest music obsessive while also appealing to casual listeners. Her achievement here, whatever minor flaws each song may possess, is total.