This disc offers a unique coupling of two of Samuel Barber’s finest works in excellent performances. Robert McDuffie delivers a satisfyingly heartfelt rendition of Barber’s Violin Concerto, one that brings to light many of the score’s beauties. This, combined with Yoel Levi’s passionate conducting makes McDuffie’s version preeminently recommendable–that is, until you hear Hilary Hahn’s ravishing and deeply probing account on Sony, which must take pride of place. Jon Kimura Parker offers a sharply focused, intense reading of the Piano Concerto, and while his does not have the authoritative air of dedicatee John Browning in his recording with Leonard Slatkin, Parker compensates with a youthful daring absent from the elder statesman’s laterRead more reading. Barber’s Souvenirs appears here in its full orchestra version (Browning and Slatkin recorded the two-piano original on their RCA disc), allowing us to delight in these whimsical dances from an enlarged perspective. Throughout it all the Atlanta Symphony supplies top-notch playing, and Telarc’s recording is up to its usual vividly realistic standard.