Lachen Verlernt for solo violin

I’ve devoted a major portion of my life to studying the violin and still get a vicarious thrill out of listening to just about anything written for the instrument (though, thankfully, I haven’t been caught playing air-violin by anyone in the office yet). But even if you didn’t spend your adolescence with a piece of wood tucked under your chin, it would be easy to form an attachment to Leila Josefowicz’s rendering of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Lachen Verlernt. A little showy, a little classic, a little melancholy, but mostly just written in such a way that it fits together as tightly as an aural jigsaw puzzle.

For the new music trivia buffs in the crowd, the title (Laughing Unlearnt) is a quote from the ninth movement of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire.

—MS