Notes and Editorial Reviews
My French colleague Christophe Huss called a few days ago and said "You've got to try the new Bruch Concerto disc on Naxos. It's really excellent." Now Christophe really does know his stuff, and even his Bruch, which is saying a lot. Tovey thought Bruch was a genius, especially for his choral works, but then he said the same thing about Parry, so even great writers on music have their weak spots. Still, there's no denying that in writing for violin and orchestra Bruch was in his element, and the neglect of these two works is rather remarkable.
The Second concerto always has impressed me as being every bit as good as the First. Like its more famous predecessor, it avoids that
Romantic Achilles' heel, the sonata-form first movement. Here a voluptuous and melodically stunning Adagio leads to a brief, dramatic recitative and a lively finale. The Third concerto isn't quite so lucky--sonata form rears its ugly head in the very long first movement--but violinist Maxim Fedotov and conductor Dmitry Yablonsky take Bruch's "energico" directive at face value and all comes out well. Certainly, Bruch had no issues with finales (almost as big a problem as opening movements), and that of the Third concerto is particularly winning, and marvelously scored.
Fedotov plays both works splendidly. He has that gutsy, vibrant tone characteristic of so many Russian string players, which means that he's able to relax into the lyrical music without ever turning coy. In the finale of the Third, especially, his double-stopping is a joy, his passage work pretty immaculate, and he projects both concertos with real virtuoso relish. Yablonsky and the orchestra accompany with similar enthusiasm, and the sonics are extremely natural and well balanced. You might be tempted to overlook this release--but don't. Thank you, Christophe!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44: I. Adagio ma non troppo
Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44: II. Recitativo: Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44: III. Finale: Allegro molto
Violin Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 58: I. Allegro energico
Violin Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 58: II. Adagio
Violin Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 58: III. Finale: Allegro molto
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