Magazine article Gramophone

Bruch: 'The Romantic Violin Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruch: 'The Romantic Violin Concerto

Article excerpt

Bruch

'The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol 21' Violin Concerto No 2, Op 44. Adagio appassionato, Op 57. In memoriam, Op 65. Konzertstuck, Op 84 Jack Liebeck vn BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins Hyperion (F) CDA68055 (68' * DDD)

There's much to admire in Jack Liebeck's patrician account of Bruch's D minor Violin Concerto. His playing is virtually flawless in its technical ease, scintillating articulateness and purity of tone--very much, in fact, like James Ehnes's dazzling CBC recording. Liebeck is most impressive in the concerto's introspective passages: the plaintive opening, for example, and also in the first movement's coda, where he finds a touching vulnerability. Like Ehnes, though, he's more than a touch too sober. Heifetz, in his benchmark version from 1954 (RCA, 6/56), invested the music with an intensity that made up for any lack of tenderness. Liebeck's restraint is not quite as convincing. Take the way he sails through the finale's lovely, lyrical second theme without relaxing the tempo at all, for instance. Ulf Wallin is a more forceful advocate, and I think this music requires that kind of extra love and care.

Wallin's disc also includes the elegiac, proto-Elgarian In memoriam and the odd, two-movement Konzertstuck (essentially a concerto sans finale). …

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