Yuzuko Horigome / Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice

Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21; Concerto Russe, Op. 29

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Composing at the peak of the Exoticism movement, Edouard Lalo was highly influenced by several cultures neighboring his native France. He incorporated these traits into virtually every form of music he composed from opera to concerto. Both the Symphonie espagnole and the Concerto russe, each written for violin and orchestra though neither are concertos in the truest sense of the word, are prime examples of Lalo's infatuation with the musical idioms of other cultures. Premiered by Sarasate, the Symphonie espagnole has enjoyed a much more ardent following than the somewhat more bombastic Concerto russe, but both show Lalo's desire to incorporate a full, rich orchestral part with a highly virtuosic violin solo. This Talent album features Japanese-born violinist Yuzuko Horigome alongside the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice. Horigome's execution of the demanding violin part is technically quite solid, nicely in tune, and characterized by a full, warm sound from her del Gesù violin. While that may be enough for a commanding performance of most other concertos, Lalo's compositions need an added component -- panache -- that Horigome seems to lack somewhat. A little more brazen risk-taking and theatrics would considerably elevate this disc. Marco Guidarini leads the orchestra through a powerful though occasionally heavy-handed accompaniment. Talent's liner notes are almost incomprehensible at times.

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