Strongly committed to the contemporary repertoire, Rebecca
Hirsch has already made some persuasive recordings of concertos by Bent
Sørensen and Hakon Børresen (granted Børresen is
hardly contemporary) amongst others. These all demonstrate her credentials
as one of the most impressively equipped exponents of the literature.
She has also advanced British music, of which her Rawsthorne Concertos
were notable examples, and her Britten equally so. Turning now to the
Berg one finds her in similarly convincing array, combining a sure sense
of architectural design, a splendid technique equal to the demands placed
upon it and tonal reserves that embrace both depth and soaring cantilena.
She has the advantage of an acute ear for the most emphatic and lyrical
shaping of phrases and for unerringly reaching the emotive peak of a line.
Her profile here, whilst generally cool, is nevertheless capable of
considerable emotional engagement and is palpably consonant with the
deepening movement of the work. She is especially successful in the
transition from Allegro to Adagio in the second part of the Concerto
where subtle inflection and broadening of her vibrato pays off as surely
as it did in the first part's Andante. Eri Klas brings out some fine
orchestral detail - I especially admired the running bass pizzicati
in the opening Andante-Scherzo as well as the freedom he gives to the
trumpet. Hirsch meanwhile always reserves increased weight of bow pressure
and increased finger vibrato for the most structurally and emotively
acute moments. She characterizes the light and the dark with equal success.
The couplings are equally well played. The crisp and clear acoustic
of the Hilversum Concert Hall allows orchestral strands the clarity
they need. This works well in the case of the Lyric Suite which features
a notably well played and evocative Andante amoroso and an Adagio appassionato
that ends in marvellous delicacy. The Three Orchestral Pieces don't
lack for power either. The Präludium is compellingly strong and
the concluding Marsch no less driven so that this is a most worthwhile
disc and at the modest price extremely attractive.