Mendelssohn, Panufnik, Takemitsu & Bach

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mendelssohn,Panufnik,Takemitsu & Bach
LABELS: EMI
ALBUM TITLE: Alexander Sitkovetsky
WORKS: Works by Mendelssohn, Panufnik, Takemitsu & Bach
PERFORMER: Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin); New European Strings CO/Dmitry Sitkovetsky (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: 5 57440 2
The Mendelssohn concerto recorded here is the lesser-known D minor, and from the outset, it’s clear that conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky is running a tight ship, with alert rhythms and phrasing. The solo entry has the same character, though violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky isn’t afraid to use rubato to shape the melodic line, which he does with great subtlety, easing up for the second subject, and turning musical corners with effortless charm. His tone is firm but sweet, with a variety of colour in the slow movement, but he and the orchestra find more edge in Panufnik’s Violin Concerto, though again what impresses most is the complete identification with the music, which, when it’s not soaringly lyrical, could easily fall into mathematical pattern-making – and there is a bit of that in the final Vivace. Takemitsu’s Nostalghia is a different proposition altogether: it’s marked to be played ‘entirely rubato’, and the young Sitkovetsky has the flexibility and tonal variety to stop the piece from sprawling. Finally, uncle and nephew – similar in sound and well-balanced – join forces for a Bach Double Concerto which is energetic in the outer movements, though it could do with a touch more inwardness in the central Largo. Overall a varied and worthwhile collection. Martin Cotton

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