Linus Roth / Antony Hermus / BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol. 22: Lassen, Scharwenka, Langgaard

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Having reaped profits from its giant Romantic Piano Concerto series, Hyperion is now well underway with a Romantic Violin Concerto series, of which this is volume 22. You get two works that fell out of the repertory for no other reason than that they were overshadowed by Nielsen's single work in the violin concerto genre, even though the pieces by Eduard Lassen and Rued Langgaard are entirely different from Nielsen's. The Lassen work is the standout here, with a striking melodic warmth that may bring the hard-to-translate Danish concept of hygge to mind. Sample especially the slow movement, which is not very slow but has a fetching, lilting quality that violinist Linus Roth brings off beautifully. One may object to the single-movement Violin Concerto of Langgaard, which dates from 1944 and thus might not be classifiable as Romantic. Indeed, in tonality it is Romantic, but its quirky concertante treatment of the instruments, with the violin weaving in and out of small instrumental groups that may include a piano, is contemporary as can be. Whatever the case, it's a delightful work that's well worth revival by university orchestras and the like. The Violin Concerto in G major by composer Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka is perhaps a bit more scholastic than the other two works, but it's cleanly executed by Roth and the BBC Scottish Symphony under Antony Hermus. The sound from the Glasgow City Halls is transparent and clean. Highly recommended, and for lovers of the violin really essential.

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