Magazine article Gramophone

Busoni * R Strauss: The Romantic Violin Concerto Vol 16'

Magazine article Gramophone

Busoni * R Strauss: The Romantic Violin Concerto Vol 16'

Article excerpt

Busoni * R Strauss

'The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol 16'

Beethoven Missa solemnis, Op 123--Benedictus

(arr Busoni) Busoni Violin Concerto, Op 35a

R Strauss Violin Concerto, Op 8

Tanja Becker-Bender vn

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Garry Walker

Hyperion [F] CDA68044 (63' * DDD)

Busoni's Violin Concerto (1896-97), despite the success of the Second Sonata that shortly followed it, has never enjoyed much popularity, either in the concert hall or on disc. While it is an early work, not wholly representative of the mature composer, it is beautifully crafted, full of lyricism and appealing melodies. True, the ideas perhaps lack the distinctive memorability of those in the Second Sonata or the great Piano Concerto of a few years later (as well as the latter's heavenly length) but the Violin Concerto is nevertheless a work that leaves one the better for having heard it, especially in such a splendidly rendered performance as this from Tanja Becker-Bender, superbly accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the excellent Garry Walker.

Frank Peter Zimmermann set the bar for modern recordings in his Editor's Choice Sony disc but Becker-Bender's is its equal. …

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