Saint-Saens: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor; Introduction & Rondo capriccioso in A minor; Romance in C, Op. 48; Caprice andalous in G, Op. 122; Morceau de concert in G, Op. 62

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COMPOSERS: Saint-Saens
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor; Introduction & Rondo capriccioso in A minor; Romance in C, Op. 48; Caprice andalous in G, Op. 122; Morceau de concert in G, Op. 62
PERFORMER: Dong-Suk Kang (violin)Polish National RSO, Katowice/ Antoni Wit
CATALOGUE NO: 8.550752 DDD
The opening bars of the first track on this disc are wonderful. Over a barely audible accompaniment, Dong-Suk Kang brings a quite ethereal grace to the wistful little tune of the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso. Such sensitivity is a rare accomplishment, and he carries it through quite plausibly to the other pieces in the disc, even where the prevailing wind encourages virtuosity rather than delicacy of sentiment. This does not necessarily add up to the best or most characterful performance. In the Violin Concerto the closing bars of the Andantino are superbly executed, as icy harmonics glide above the orchestra like music from another world. But the flourish which opens the final movement seems to lack the theatrical virtuosity implicit in the writing, and later in the same movement the soloist seems to lose concentration and the intonation slips awkwardly.

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Antoni Wit conducts to accompany, rather than engage in dialogue. The soft focus sound of the orchestra lacks detail and transparency, but for all that this flies in the face of fashion it makes quite relaxing listening. Especially those first 50 seconds. Christopher Lambton