Magazine article Gramophone

Jacob * Leighton * Patterson: 'British Violin Concertos'

Magazine article Gramophone

Jacob * Leighton * Patterson: 'British Violin Concertos'

Article excerpt

Jacob * Leighton * Patterson 'British Violin Concertos' Jacob Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra Leighton Concerto for Violin and Small Orchestra, Op 12 Patterson Violin Concerto No 2,'Serenade' Clare Howick vn BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Grant Llewellyn Naxos (M) 8 573791 (68' * DDD)

All three composers were (or are) career academics, but it's notable how Paul Patterson's concerto of 2013 wants most to step out of the ivory tower and entertain. Kenneth Leighton's concerto isn't his best piece despite containing some of his boldest (albeit conservative) music while Gordon Jacob's appears to be hung up on a certain strand of modality from which his teacher Herbert Howells managed to unlock far more progressive and less self-satisfied ideas.

All three works are scored for relatively small orchestra and Paul Conway's booklet note describes the soloist-tutti interaction as 'telling dialogues ... rather than ... an individual pitted against the mob'. Again, all three handle that element of concerto form differently and I'm afraid, once more, it's Jacob who comes off worst with the 'now me, now you' exchanges in his first movement not doing much to aid interest or momentum. …

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