Tasmin Little / Martyn Brabbins

Moszkowski: Violin Concerto in C, Op. 30, Ballade in G minor, Op. 16 No. 1; Karlowicz: Violin Concerto in A, Op. 8

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AllMusic Review by James Leonard

In a world full of pointless duplication of already overly familiar repertoire, Hyperion continues to release discs that feature undiscovered or unrecorded repertoire. Having brought the world a wonderful series of recordings under the rubric The Romantic Piano Concerto, Hyperion has begun to release an equally wonderful series of recordings under the rubric The Romantic Violin Concerto. In this, the fourth volume of the series, Hyperion has coupled two violin concertos from two of the best Polish composers of the later years of the nineteenth and the early years of the twentieth century: Moritz Moszkowski and Mieczyslaw Karlowicz. When he is remembered at all, Moszkowski is remembered as a composer of salon pieces for piano. And when Karlowicz is remembered -- and he is remembered even less often then Moszkowski -- he is remembered as either a half-baked Slavophile or a second-rate Strauss. But as this superb recording reminds listeners, it can only be remember what is already known and most of what is already known about Moszkowski and Karlowicz is wrong. In these terrific performances by Tasmin Little, Moszkowski is a fully formed composer of memorably lyrical melodies and unforgettably difficult virtuoso writing and Karlowicz is simply a first-rate composer of grandly expansive themes and gloriously glowing harmonies. Little's playing is warm, strong, and sensitive; Martyn Brabbins' conducting is rich, sympathetic, and soulful. The playing of the BBC Scottish Symphony is lush, serious, and sensuous. If you're looking for something out of classical music beyond the pointless duplication of the already overly familiar, this is the disc for you.

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