COLERIDGE-TAYLOR; H WOOD Violin Concertos

Author: 
Andrew Achenbach
CHAN10879. COLERIDGE-TAYLOR; H WOOD Violin ConcertosCOLERIDGE-TAYLOR; H WOOD Violin Concertos

COLERIDGE-TAYLOR; H WOOD Violin Concertos

  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
  • Suite
  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Tasmin Little’s magnificent new recording of the irresistibly tuneful and big-hearted Violin Concerto that Samuel Coleridge-Taylor wrote in 1912 for Maud Powell (and which, sadly, he was never to hear) jumps to the head of a select but hotly competitive field. What lustrous tone, fragrant poetry and generosity of spirit Little brings to the soaringly lyrical solo part, and how fortunate she is in having such fervent, watchful support from the BBC Philharmonic at the very top of their game under Andrew Davis. Theirs is a performance of genuine stature and one which certainly made me fall in love all over again with this rewarding creation.

You’ll encounter a comparable charisma and dedication in these artists’ exemplary account of Haydn Wood’s A minor Concerto. Composed in 1928, it had to wait a further five years for its first airing, in a radio broadcast featuring the Catalan virtuoso Antonio Brosa (who went on to give the March 1940 New York world premiere of Britten’s Violin Concerto). It’s a red-blooded, ripely Romantic and impeccably crafted vehicle, rather less distinctive in profile than the Coleridge-Taylor but whose many opportunities for bravura display are eagerly devoured here, and which can boast a central Andante sostenuto of spine-tingling beauty.

Little and Davis also make a gorgeous thing of Delius’s four-movement Suite. Written in Paris between 1888 and 1891 (but not heard until a BBC broadcast in 1984), it gets a performance of scrupulous sensitivity, wistful tenderness and affectionate ardour to set alongside Ralph Holmes’s with Vernon Handley and the RPO for Unicorn-Kanchana from three decades ago (now on Heritage, 9/85, 1/13). Excellent booklet-notes by Anthony Burton; sumptuous sound and a wholly truthful balance, too.

To sum up, a disc with a distinct touch of magic about it, movingly dedicated by Little to the memory of Chandos founder Brian Couzens, who died just a few days before the sessions.

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