Elgar Violin Concerto
James Ehnes (vn) Philharmonia Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis
An enthralling performance – both technically and musically – is all the more exciting because it was recorded live during a string of concert performances at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. “Not since Nigel Kennedy’s 1997 remake with Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO (EMI, 1/98) have I heard an account of the Elgar as thrillingly combustible, imaginative and involving as this,” wrote Andrew Achenbach. Ehnes’s “rapt identification, tingling temperament and glowing ardour” are coupled with faultless technical control, a “jaw-dropping delicacy” and an innate understanding of pacing and musical architecture. Sir Andrew Davis’s passionate conducting has “authoritative sweep” where needed and equally subtlety and sensitivity during moments of intimacy.