One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19 (1917) [23:45]
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (1935) [27:46]
Matthew Trusler (violin)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Grant Llewellyn
rec. 2016, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff

Matthew Trusler is not short on adventurous spirit. Working with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales he has taken up cudgels for two Welsh composers: the concertos by William Mathias and Grace Williams. The Sibelius and Barber concertos are also among the works he has given in concert. For Dutton he has recorded works for violin and orchestra by Julius Harrison and Montague Phillips. Nor is Trusler a novitiate so far as Orchid Classics is concerned. He has set down for them versions of the Britten (ORC100037), Rozsa and Korngold (ORC100005) and a Fairy Tales disc with Kenneth Branagh and other actors (ORC100030).

Prokofiev’s First Concerto had the blessing of a truly great first recording at the hands of Beecham and Szigeti. Its trembling magic is well ensnared by Trusler and the orchestra and Grant Llewellyn shows typical sensitivity. This recording radiates integrity. Here is a soloist who does not big up the score but brings to it both joy and precision. Its Russian lacquer fairy-tale miniature spirit must emerge glistening, pin-sharp and at times both coarsely brusque and scorchingly fast. These qualities are accomplished and we are reminded again what a loveable master-work this is.

The longer Second Concerto dates from the same years as the Romeo and Juliet ballet and there are links between these two works, especially in the first movement of the Concerto. Trusler's tempered and steady-toned playing is a great asset in the slow sauntering Andante assai. Also, I must not undersell the delicate, balletic, hushed pizzicato playing of the BBCNOW strings nor the violinist's heart-filling eloquence. I do not recall this movement being better done, not even by Oistrakh (review review). The rasping finale has all the inspiriting skimming and scuffing abrasion of the First Concerto but here mobilised as a Russian country dance.

The disc's English-only booklet has a good essay by Joanna Wyld who among much else reminds me that the premiere of the First Concerto was intended for Pavel Kochanski who was at the time (1917) teaching at the Petrograd Conservatory. Kochanski was the dedicatee of the two Szymanowski violin concertos.

In terms of running time these two concertos are on the wrong side of parsimony at just short of 52 minutes. It's a pity another work could not have been found (perhaps the Shchedrin-orchestrated Five Melodies op. 35 bis). I fear that for this reason, despite the golden interpretations and sound, this disc will struggle to make headway in a munificently thronged catalogue. Grocerly values, it's true, but there's no shortage of commanding discs offering both concertos and more.

Rob Barnett



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger