Dong Suk Kang (violin) Tim
Hugh (cello) ENPO/Paul Daniel
NAXOS 8.554325 [59.57]
The Walton Naxos series ploughs forward with no lack of momentum or
accomplishment. The present disc is the most attractive in the sequence coupling
an outright winner of a work with a Cinderella. Recording quality is clear
and unfussy - detailed but not too analytical. Notes are acceptable.
The interpretation of the violin concerto leans on the intimate rather than
high drama. The pristine tender colloquy of lovers basks in Mediterranean
radiance. The music chases through cicada-haunted groves in a pattering
steeplechase. The music has heroic determination too, amidst the irascible
defiance, puirt-a-beul, vaulting and serenading. Great attention is paid
to dynamics and instrumental relativities and a fine interpretation is delivered.
It does not, for me, displace the EMI Ida Haendel recording (1970s) with
Berglund. It is however an attractive foil to the now rather fierce Heifetz
recording on RCA-BMG.
In the cello concerto Walton flanks the fast movement with two slow ones
rather like the Moeran and Delius violin concertos. The Cinderella work has
many beguiling episodes in Tim Hugh's hands. Listen to the shimmering Hollywood
dew (very close to Korngold) at 5.18 (I) and the constant return of the
clock-ticking motif. In the convulsive dash of the central movement Hugh
is not as ferocious as Piatigorsky. In the finale Walton seems to ruminate
over musical ideas reminiscent of Britten's Peter Grimes - an opera whose
success he coveted but was unfairly denied.