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CD Review

Rare French Works for Violin & Orchestra

Philippe Graffin, violin
The Ulster Orchestra/Thierry Fischer
Hyperion CDA67294 71m DDD
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Another juicy French morsel from the inimitable Hyperion stable! This time Philippe Graffin plays some of the rarer works from the offbeat tracks of concertante French violin music.

The Fauré Concerto is particularly interesting especially in its lovely solo violin part that is infused with beauty and languorous wholeness. I also enjoyed Saint-Saëns' 'Morceau de Concert' which was previously available on a double EMI set with all the works for violin and orchestra.

Lalo's Fantasie Norvégienne is similarly ebullient and also recalls the famous Ruggiero Ricci account on Decca, one of those classics yet Graffin is even more polished with superb Hyperion sound to boot. The rarities are in the shape of Guirad's 'Caprice', eleven minutes of pure virtuosic mastery and Canteloube's Poème, a sunny evocation of the French pastoral hinterlands. Another short work by Lalo, Guitarre completes the excellent programme.

This is a disc that should be on the shopping list of any violin lover.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech