This is a true 'collier charmant' of concertos. Trust Hyperion to
launch the natural gemini to their Romantic Piano Concerto series
with this, volume 1 of The Romantic Violin Concerto series. Balance
is all in the Hyperion approach. So here we have the celebrity concerto
partnered by two less known works: a logical choice to couple the first
two concertos with No.3.
Witchery and charm are the dominant strata in these
works. If you do not know them they have a gravity and aspirant beauty
reminiscent of the Beethoven concerto. There is little of the nineteenth
century exoticism of Bizet and a hundred other disciples: Franckian
or otherwise. Things such as the Caprice Andalou, Havanaise, and introduction
and Rondo Capriccioso are certainly hothouse works whereas these pieces
inhabit a cooler moth-haunted twilight. These are works of classical
poise and the classical element is well conveyed by the young French
violinist. As for the Scottish orchestra we can expect the 'Auld Alliance'
to ensure that there are no stylistic gear collisions in Gallic repertoire.
Martyn Brabbins directs things with a nice balance of gravamen and flightiness.
The technical side is well handled with plenty of aural muscle as well
The Bruch concertos make a similar project with in that case No. 1
as the star vehicle and the other two as the attractive companions.
Of course the three Bruchs would never go on a single disc.
Is this the first time that all three Saint Saens concertos
have been coupled together? I think so. What next after this auspicious
'embarquement'? Well how about the concertos of August de Boeck, Janis
Ivanovs, Leroy Robertson, Giancarlo Menotti and Mieczyslaw Karlowicz:
winners every one!
Recommended in every respect.