Nice coupling, eh? Kurt Weill's twisted neo-Classical Concerto for violin and winds with its crooked melodies, broken harmonies, and bent sensuality does go extremely well with Peteris Vasks oddly neo-Romantic Concerto for violin and strings with its sometimes mellow, other times abrasive melodies, its sometimes warm other times harsh harmonies, and its sometimes sentimental, other times savage sensuality. Of course, this recording won't be for everyone -- how many listeners are looking for crooked melodies and savage sensuality? -- but for listeners with tougher ears, this coupling with violinist Anthony Marwood leading the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields will be just the thing to clear the head after too much Mozart. Marwood's playing is bright, clear, and deep and his conducting is strong, soulful, and, when necessary, acerbic. The Academy, long one of the best chamber orchestras from the sceptred isles, performs with polish, professionalism, and, despite the bent sensuality of Weill's music, a fair amount of passion. While some Weill listeners may prefer the more driven Frank Peter Zimmerman recording or the more twisted Nona Liddell recording and some Vasks listeners may prefer the more emotional Gidon Kremer recording, listeners who want this particular coupling need look no further because, in fact, it's the only one like it in the world. Hyperion's sound is as clear as it could be, but not perhaps as deep as it might be.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Concerto for violin & wind orchestra, Op. 12|
|Distant Light (Violin Concerto)|