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CD Review

Nigel Kennedy

EMI 95373

Return to the Classics

Nigel Kennedy, violin
* Michael Baranski, double bass
Polish Chamber Orchestra/Nigel Kennedy
EMI Classics 3-95373-2 78m DDD
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Nigel Kennedy returns yet again with what can only be described as a marvellous performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, an interpretation which certainly has a place amongst the very best performers of this work.

Kennedy's playing is definitely not for the faint hearted, but he brings a curious calm to proceedings that are quite disarming. This is evident in the First Movement of Beethoven which flows along quite nicely and leads to the cadenza which has the soloist in full flow. The Second Movement is beautifully pensive with some lovely orchestral accompaniment and utterly magical solo playing from Kennedy.

Beethoven's Finale has one dancing and moving and Kennedy manages to do just that, also coaxing his Polish players into some truly wicked music making. In the Mozart work, Kennedy is also extremely accomplished and yet again the Polish Chamber Orchestra playing is out of this world.

The disc is rounded off with the delightful "Creepin' In" by Silver, a jazz piece played with great dexterity by Kennedy. Love him or hate him, the man asks questions of every piece he plays – this disc is a must for those who love exploring styles or as the CD is very well titled – "Return to the Classics".

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet