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Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 - Walton: Viola Concerto - Vaughan Williams: Lark Ascending / Keulen, NDR Philharmonic


Release Date: 11/16/2018 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72793  
Composer:  Sergei ProkofievSir William WaltonRalph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen
Conductor:  Andrew ManzeKeri-Lynn WilsonAndrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here is an album whose contents seem odd as it couples the violin concerto of a (still) Russian composer to the viola concerto of an English one. Instead, the coupling is very clever since Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, whose premiere was in 1923 (while the composer was still living in France, a few years before his return to Soviet Union) served as a much-admired model to Walton’s Viola Concerto, whose first performance was played by Paul Hindemith in 1929. The similarities between the two works go beyond the three-movement structure slow-quick-slow and concern themes, accompaniments and the rondo form of the virtuoso central Scherzo. The smart idea of such unusual coupling came to one of the few great living violinists who can really Read more play the viola with equal skill: Isabelle van Keulen. This glorious album is crowned by the orchestrated version of Vaughan Williams’ masterpiece The Lark Ascending. One of German radio’s best orchestras, the NDR Radiophilharmonie is conducted by Andrew Manze, Keri-Lynn Wilson, and Andrew Litton.

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REVIEW:

Full marks for this well-conceived program, which brings together two works closely related but rarely coupled. Van Keulen plays the Prokofiev with a shiny, rather glassy (rather than glossy) tone. No reservations are needed for the Walton, whose introverted yet deep running emotion well suits van Keulen’s way with the husky-toned viola she plays. Conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson finds an ideal balance of restraint and (in the scherzo) extroversion.

– BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in D major, Op. 19 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Manze
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
2.
Concerto for Viola by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen (Violin)
Conductor:  Keri-Lynn Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929/1961; England 
3.
The lark ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914/1920; England 

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