Finzi, Leighton

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Finzi,Leighton
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Cello Concerto
PERFORMER: Raphael Wallfisch (cello); RLPO/Vernon Handley, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Bryden Thomson
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9949 Reissue (1986, 1989)
On the heels of Tim Hugh’s recording of the Finzi Cello Concerto (Naxos, reviewed last month) comes a reissue of a 1986 recording by Raphael Wallfisch, who has been touring the piece during this Finzi centenary year, including at the Proms. He and Vernon Handley are loyal and long-standing servants of English music and team up to give a keenly felt, emotional reading that makes up in guts for what it lacks in polish. Kenneth Leighton’s Concerto is almost contemporaneous, marking the beginning of his career as Finzi’s signalled the end, but sounding notably similar. The performance is again passionate, particularly in a majestic closing threnody. Christopher Wood