After beginning a three-album Bruch series with the little-known Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 58, Liebeck here takes up one of the composer's most famous works, the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26. The rest of the program, though, advances the aim of Hyperion's Romantic Violin Concerto series, which is to recover forgotten works of the period. The little Romance in A minor, Op. 42 and the Serenade in A minor, Op. 75 both got started as concertos, but never came to full fruition. No matter: they're attractively melodic works that deserve a new hearing, and Liebeck's less-is-more style is especially effective in the limpid Romance. As for the concerto itself, you can certainly find plenty of slashing, arch-Romantic readings of this work, going back to the violin giants of the middle 20th century. Clean, relatively restrained versions of the sort Liebeck offers here are not so common, and they make a nice counterpoint to the usual stream. Sample the finale (track eight) to see whether you want more blood and guts, but overall this is a release that will appeal to Bruch fans for the two rarities contained therein at the very least.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Serenade in A minor Op. 75|
|Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 26|