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COMPOSERS: Korngold/Goldmark
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor
PERFORMER: Vera Tsu (violin)Razumovsky Sinfonia/Yu Long
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553579
Two under-recorded late-Romantic violin concertos are given full-blooded treatment here at budget price. The Korngold Concerto has many beautiful features in this version: the first movement is milked for every ounce of its rich-hued Romanticism and the orchestra is particularly fine, with much attention given to the wealth of unusual detail with solo string lines, harp, marimba, and so on. Tsu, who is an associate leader of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, proves a big-toned player with considerable fire. Occasionally she can be a tad heavy-handed – the spiccatos in the last movement of the Korngold, for instance, seem aggressive rather than quicksilver – but mostly she plays with character, verve and heart. The Goldmark Concerto dates from somewhat earlier and is more traditional in style than Korngold’s. Today it’s probably even less well known than its companion piece here, and it is well worth resuscitating: a melodic, vibrant piece fresh from the German Romantic tradition of Mendelssohn and co. The Razumovsky Sinfonia, an ensemble drawn from some of Slovakia’s leading orchestras, is a real find. The sound quality is good, though the acoustic is just a little over-resonant. Jessica Duchen