Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Humoresques; Serenades

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

WORKS: Violin Concerto; Humoresques; Serenades
PERFORMER: Joseph Swensen (violin)Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka Saraste
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 60444 2 DDD
Joseph Swenson brings enough freshness, character and expressive conviction to this dangerously familiar music to sharpen the most jaded palette. Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra make excellent partners — dramatic or discreet as required, although perhaps lacking the last degree of refinement. The sense of overall dramatic shape might have been stronger, but it remains an unusually impressive performance. The Humoresque and Serenades -without exception delightful, idiosyncratic and surprisingly neglected pieces – are beautifully done and the disc is almost worth having for them alone. Stephen Johnson