Hyperion's Romantic Violin Concerto series has reached its fifth volume and this can be counted as one of the most satisfying of all release in the violin concerto canon. Coleridge-Taylor is one of the most melodious of composers and this Violin Concerto is replete with themes and melodies that make it a truly memorable work on all accounts. Sir Arthur Somervell is also a good composer and although his concerto does not set any houses on fire, it is a fine work just the same.
Anthony Marwood evidently loves these works and he puts on a spanking performance in Coleridge Taylor's concerto. The opening Allegro maestoso is winningly done whilst the lovely Andante semplice also contains much that is beautiful and simple at the same time. Marwood and Brabbins really let it rip in the final movement, which is an apt and fitting conclusion to the work.
The Somervell concerto resembles the Brahms and Beethoven contribution to the genre and last just about 33 minutes. Here we have a long and expansive opening movement, which also finds Marwood in fine fettle. The short Adagio then gives way to a frolicky Allegro giocoso that rounds off the work to a satisfactory end.
As usual, recording and notes are of the highest standards and I would be rather hard pressed to want alternative versions of these works. Collectors of obscure yet rewarding concertos will want this in their collection but it is also recommended to first time buyers with a love for the violin.
Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech