Chloë Hanslip / Alexander Vedernikov / Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana

The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol. 14: Alexander Glazunov & Othmar Schoeck

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Volume 14 of Hyperion's series, The Romantic Violin Concerto, presents one masterpiece that has an assured place in the repertoire, and a second-tier concerto that has yet to be widely played. Alexander Glazunov's passionate Violin Concerto in A minor is well-represented today in concerts and on recordings, and great performances are not hard to find, since historic recordings by Jascha Heifetz and David Oistrakh are regularly reissued, and Gil Shaham and Itzhak Perlman have had success with it. Othmar Schoeck's fairly obscure Concerto quasi una Fantasia in B flat major has a few recordings to its credit, but none on major labels by violinists of note, so it has a considerable distance to go before it becomes a hit with classical listeners. Chloë Hanslip's performances with Alexander Vedernikov and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana are confident and appealing, and Glazunov's solidly scored and expressively compelling work comes off well in this album. But as pleasant as the Schoeck piece is in Hanslip's hands, with its open emotions and soaring lines, it is extremely derivative of Brahms, and not especially memorable for any themes or dramatic passages. The program is filled out with two short concertante pieces by Glazunov, the Meditation in D major and the Mazurka-oberek in D major, which are attractive and bring a cheerful mood to the proceedings. Hyperion's sound is rich and warm, which is exactly what is needed in these late Romantic concertos.

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