Glazunov_Violin Concerto Op. 82; Schoeck_Concerto quasi fantasia Op. 21
Chloë Hanslip continues here her admirable record in exploring little-known corners of the violin’s repertory. Othmar Schoeck’s Concerto of 1911 12 was written for the Hungarian violinist Stefi Geyer, who also inspired Bartók’s First Concerto – for both composers the inspiration was associated with a romantic attachment. Schoeck’s Concerto is, indeed, highly romantic but in a subtle, refined way; the tone is predominantly intimate and lyrical, though a darker mood appears at the start of the central Grave. It’s a fascinating work but uneven – the finale, attempting a lighter style, is let down by material that’s somewhat trivial and mundane. Hanslip gives a most convincing performance; her unobtrusive musicianship, with subtle variations in tone to match the emotional colour of each phrase, is admirably suited to the music’s refined expressiveness. Throughout the disc, the orchestral contribution is splendidly clear and well balanced.
Hanslip is also persuasive in the Glazunov Concerto. There have been many fine recordings over the years, from Heifetz onwards, and I wouldn’t put this quite at the top of my list. Of recent versions, Julia Fischer is more forceful and compelling, and the Russian National Orchestra help to give her recording a more authentic feel. Nikolaj Znaider provides high virtuosity as well as a superbly integrated performance with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra under Mariss Jansons. But Hanslip’s is still a fine account – in particular, the purity and neatness of her playing bring an effortless sparkle to the concerto’s finale. The two shorter Glazunov pieces are also beautifully done.