Ades: Violin Concerto

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COMPOSERS: Ades
LABELS: BIS
ALBUM TITLE: Ades: Violin Concerto
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Three Studies from Couperin for Chamber Orchestra
PERFORMER: Peter Herresthal (violin); Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Andrew Manze
CATALOGUE NO: BIS-8003

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Hot on the heels of Hadelich’s version of Concentric Paths comes another. Herresthal and Manze take a more lightweight, intimate view of the piece than Hadelich, and that’s reinforced by the recording. In the first movement, the more leisurely tempo doesn’t quite bring the urgency that Hadelich finds, but there’s less resonance in the sound, and more orchestral detail emerges. Herresthal is most successful in the lyrical, tragic second movement, where his direct, not too Romanticised tone matches the Classically-leaning passacaglia structure. And the lightness of texture in the final movement draws together the dance rhythms and the soaring solo lines more convincingly.

The inventive reimaginings of Couperin are further proof of Adès’s ear for sonority, with soft-toned alto and bass flutes, Webernesque fragmentation of melodic lines, and discreet use of percussion drawing us into the 21st century, all sensitively realised by Manze and the orchestra.

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Martin Cotton