BRUCH: Symphony No. 1, Violin Concerto No.
Lydia Mordkovitch: Violin
London Symphony Orchestra Richard Hickox.
CHAN9784 72m DDD.
Richard Hickox continues his excellent Bruch cycle with warm-hearted and
forceful readings of the First Symphony and the Third Violin Concerto. Compared
with Masur's slightly ramshackle Leipzig performance, Hickox and the LSO
provide an extremely fresh sounding performance of the First Symphony. Many
opening horn calls and some delightful woodwind solos add to the charm of
a work, which should have a firmer hold on the orchestral repertoire. As
regards tempi, Hickox is akin to James Conlon and his expansive Cologne
performance (EMI) but Chandos' bloom depicts some wonderful playing from
the LSO especially in the irresistible Allegro guerriero.
We have already had an excellent reading of the Third Concerto from Andreas
Krecher with the Wuppertal Symphony (released on MD&G) but there is room
to accommodate further versions of this expansive work. Occasionally it reminds
me of Brahms magisterial concerto. Bruch's themes are as memorable - still
retaining their originality. Hickox adds nearly two minutes to Krecher's
timing in the opening Allegro energico and this results in an exceeding clarity
between soloists and orchestra. Mordkovitch's playing is beautifully romanticized
and her bowing is thoroughly eloquent especially in the sweet strains of
Concise but detailed notes by Christopher Fifield and a wonderfully romantic
painting on the front cover add to the charms of this beautiful coupling.
Now for the Second Symphony and perhaps the Konzertstuck please!