Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

SIBELIUS Violin Concerto [34.31]
 Violin Concerto [32.57]
Salvatore Accardo (violin)
LSO/Colin Davis (Sibelius) rec 1979
Royal Concertgebouw/Colin Davis (Dvorak) rec 1980
ELOQUENCE 468 144 2 [67.39]

Commentary on the Eloquence series

After establishing his name with THE complete Paganini violin concertos on DG in the early 1970s Accardo migrated freely between record companies. His Collins coupling of the Elgar and Walton concertos remains a highlight for me and is now reissued on the budget Regis label. The sojourn with Philips also bore healthy fruit.

Accardo's tone is always clean and unwavering; so much so that some might equate this with a lack of emotional 'juice'. The Dvorak concerto assuredly defies that fear. Accardo is gracious and joyous in this singer's celebration of a concerto. The Concerto is no grim contest but plies the same seas as Dvorak's symphonies 7 and 8. It is a lovely performance of a contentedly romantic work; a successor to Bruch No. 1 and the Mendelssohn. Having reviewed the much older Josef Suk (Supraphon) version recently I would count Accardo's and Davis's (a highly regarded Sibelian of course) on the same level although the Eloquence boasts better sound quality.

The Sibelius is not at quite the same exalted level but only slightly. Its virtues are those of deliberation. Accardo takes time to colour and touch in the poetry. He is placed ideally in relation to the orchestra - not unduly emphasised but not subsumed into the orchestral fabric either. Orchestral detail including the pp grimacing of the horns in the finale is testimony to Philips' original recording team.

Anyone picking up this disc in a motorway service area will have acquired a really classy pair of recordings.

No liner notes but at this price who cares! If you want to find out about these works then there is always the library or the internet.

Rob Barnett

Reviews from previous months

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