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CD Review

Campoli Classics III

Alfredo Campoli, violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Arthur Bliss
* London Symphony Orchestra/Ataúlfo Argenta
Beulah 3PD10 78m ADD Mono/Stereo rec. 1955/56
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Campoli's third disc in this Beulah series is an authoritative coupling of works by Bliss and Tchaikovsky. The première recording of Bliss' Violin Concerto has long been regarded as an unsurpassable performance, and it is here remastered wonderfully.

The mono recording is exceptionally rich, with just the right balance between soloist and orchestra. Campoli is an excellent advocate of this work and he brings an air of complete assurance to its occasionally long-winded melodic invention.

I thought that the Finale could have done with a little more aggressive tone but that is not Campoli's strong point. Bliss and the London Philharmonic are perfect accompanists and they also are thoroughly in tandem with their illustrious soloist in the short Theme and Cadenza, another première recording.

The coupling is Campoli's famous stereo recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the London Symphony under the tragically short-lived Ataúlfo Argenta. This is a big romantic reading with some passionate playing from Campoli in the Allegro Moderato and a wonderfully lithe Allegro Vivacissimo.

The vintage London Symphony is superior to the London Philharmonic in their corporate virtuosity and the young but talented Spanish conductor is thoroughly in his element. A most stimulating and refreshing release in all aspects.

Copyright © 1999, Gerald Fenech