This is the second Lyrita disc that I am reviewing in so many weeks and the sound achieved by its engineers is nothing short of outstanding. Although there already is an excellent rival version on Hyperion in that company's excellent Romantic Violin Concerto series, this new CD surely takes the cake for recommendation and all round excellence.
The disc also includes two rarely played works by Coleridge Taylor which surely deserve more currency. The Legend is particularly beautiful whilst the Romance is no less well constructed. McAslan plays the music with a sweet enchantment and receives able support by Braithwaite who is also on top form in the Violin Concerto; especially in the rip-roaring Allegro molto that concludes the work.
As filler, we have another grossly underrated work in the shape of the rhapsody for violin and orchestra, Bredon Hill by Julius Harrison who was rather neglected when he died in 1963. The music whilst not first rate is certainly pleasant and again, McAslan and Braithwaite make an excellent team. One must note that these recordings date back to 1994 but as already indicated, they come up as fresh as a daisy with the added bonus of eminently readable notes by Geoffrey Self.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech