Emmy Verhey

Beethoven: Violin Concerto

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Over the years, the budget label Brilliant Classics has reissued listings in its catalog several times, often in comprehensive sets devoted to the works of the great composers, but also as separate albums, so its many fine offerings are widely available and kept in print somewhat longer than many of the major labels' single releases. The multiple releases of Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concerto, performed with clarity and subtle expression by violinist Emmy Verhey and the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra with Hans Vonk, have ensured that many listeners will give it its due; solely judged on the high quality of the playing, this recording deserves it. Beethoven's Violin Concerto is one of his most poetic and lyrical masterpieces, and Verhey emphasizes the arching, song-like lines over technical displays, and Vonk's accompaniment is firm and assured, though sufficiently restrained to keep the soloist at the foreground. About the only complaints worth making pertain to some minor intonation problems early on in the timpani and a slight imbalance between instrumental sections that periodically mars an otherwise decent orchestral sound. The two Romances for violin and orchestra are both delivered by Verhey, but accompanied by Eduardo Marturet and the Brabant Orchestra in No. 1, and Vonk and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in No. 2. These filler pieces are sweetly played and warmly accompanied, and round out the disc as agreeable complements to the concerto. Of the two, the recorded sound of the Romance No. 2 is a little hazy, but the audio of the Romance No. 1 is clear and well-focused.

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