Salomon JADASSOHN (1831-1902)
Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor Op.89 (1895?) [16:09]
Symphony No.1 in C major Op.24 (1860) [24:13]
Ignaz BRŰLL (1846-1907)
Violin Concerto in A minor Op.41 (2nd movement) (1880) [8:54]
Serenade No.1 Op.29 (4th and 5th movements) (1877) [10:37]
Overture - Macbeth Op.46* (1884) [8:52]
Valentina Seferinova (piano); Ilya Hoffman (violin)
Belarussian State Symphony Orchestra/Marius Stravinsky
Karelia State Philharmonic Orchestra/Denis Vlasenko (* live performances)
rec. July 2007 and December 2008
This music was specially recorded for a television documentary entitled "Out Of Darkness" yet to be released.

Ignaz BRŰLL (1846-1907)
Symphony in E minor op.31 (1880) [31:03]
Serenade No.1 in F major op.29 (1877) [35:16]
Belarussian State Symphony Orchestra/Marius Stravinsky
rec. Minsk, Belarus, July 2007.

Cameo Classics have been stealing a march on the big players in the classical market. If they continue in this vein they will win the respect and loyal sales of a public increasingly willing to chance its arm with new or revived nineteenth century repertoire.

Marius Stravinsky and the Belarussian State Symphony Orchestra give Jadassohn's First Symphony a performance full of verve. It brings leaping out from its pages the fire of Schumann's Fourth Symphony and something of Dvorak 8 too. There is a Mendelssohnian joy and effervescent quality to the Scherzo which contrasts with the long and sometimes sentimental Largo e mesto. Those striding, surging and shuddering Schumann lines return for the invigorating finale. Wonderful stuff. The piece ends with a degree of conventional bombast and received convention but overall this is very attractive indeed. This is followed by a starry Andante from the Brull Violin Concerto of 1882. It seems a pity to appear by itself. However the music is heartfelt and somewhat sentimental. The ensuring two movements from the Brull Serenade No. 1 are taken from the complete recording on Cameo CC9027CD. Brull’s overture Macbeth has a typically brooding character - in essence a tone poem in microcosm in the manner of Schumann's Julius Caesar overture. In Jadassohn’s Piano Concerto we are treated to a stormy attack. Heroic shrapnel flies every which way in repeated evocations of the Liszt and Schumann piano concertos. Valentina Seferinova is fully in charge and attacks the solo part with great romantic flourish. Her stonily commanding tone is unmistakable. I did wonder about the tuning once or twice though. This is one of the romantic concertos recorded live in concert as part of a Cameo Classics video documentary on German Jewish composers whose music was suppressed. This single movement concerto as written encompasses just over 16 minutes.

Marius Stravinsky was again the conductor in July 2007 for the Cameo sessions in Minsk for two Brull works. This brings us to the second CD - all Brull this time ( His First is a big symphony in four movements across 31 minutes. It is a determinedly romantic work. It has a very slightly Brahmsian accent with a Brucknerian tension in the brass. A steady Allegretto has some nice pizzicato filigree. The Scherzo is jolly and has a rustic tang which links with Beethoven’s Pastoral. Some lovely explosive pizzicato writing not to mention a revolutionary and almost Tchaikovskian swooning takes the listener a step outwards into the unknown. The stepping off point for this music seems to be Brahms’ Third Symphony. The big final Moderato deploys a lovely dignified theme of ecclesiastical weight. Yet it also has a yearningly passionate aspect. It’s a sort of ‘enigma’ theme; a real corker with great dignity and lunging energy. This deeply unfamiliar music is liberated with great passion by the Belarus State Symphony Orchestra and Marius Stravinsky. It may not be as lush in the string benches as we would want but the passion in the performances goes a very long way. The big Serenade No. 1 is a lower key affair but with plenty of pleasing invention though nothing to compare with the wonderful Symphony. In that sense the Serenade is to the Symphony what Brahms serenades are to Brahms symphony No. 1. The exception is to be found in the movement at track 8 which is more interesting with echoes of Mendelssohn's Hebrides and in its more dramatic moments of Ruy Blas, Athalie and The Fair Melusine.

It’s a shame about the typos and impossibly small print in the inserts but this is a small price to pay for discoveries you might perhaps have expected first from CPO.

Rob Barnett