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Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 1; Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1; Bull: Cantabile / Siem, Gourlay, LSO

Wieniawski / Bruch / London Sym Orch / Gourlay
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 666612   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Max BruchOle Borneman BullHenri Wieniawski
Performer:  Charlie Siem
Conductor:  James Gourlay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Siem confidently tackles the icily difficult opening solo in Henryk Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 14, and shows no signs of stress over the long string of parallel tenths. His tone throughout this extreme manifestation of late Romantic virtuosity is clean, wiry, and electric, and he has plenty of power in the heroic themes of Bruch's well-worn Violin Concerto No. 1...

"...Fortunately Siem is a fine musician. He’s chosen two concertos and a curiosity. One of the concertos is the Bruch in G minor, of which we are presumably sated, and the second is the Wieniawski in F sharp minor, which is a much rarer affair - indeed considerably rarer than the same composer’s warhorse, the Second
Read more Concerto. The oddity is Ole Bull’s Cantabile doloroso e Rondo giocoso. Siem is joined by the LSO and Andrew Gourlay. Siem’s Bruch is clean-limbed and his thoughtful performance includes some clever expressive devices that show a good sense of personalisation. He phrases warmly in the slow movement where the wind and horn lines are well shaped, and where the crest and fall of the violin line is finely detailed; dynamic variance is an ally to Siem here. The finale strikes a rather grand kind of pose, though the answering phrases and passages – especially the answering wind lines, often fudged or glossed – register well. Sometimes Siem’s passagework can be a touch routine. I can’t help feeling the performance is just a touch studio-bound, for all the felicities..."

-- MusicWeb International

British violinist Charlie Siem is something of a sensation, to say the least, having combined activity as a male model (check out his spread in Vogue) with a specialty in violin works of the most bone-crushing kind. Don't hate him because he's beautiful, for there's no question he has the chops to back up his looks. The most exciting moment on this Warner Classics and Jazz release comes right up front, when Siem confidently tackles the icily difficult opening solo in Henryk Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 14, and shows no signs of stress over the long string of parallel tenths. His tone throughout this extreme manifestation of late Romantic virtuosity is clean, wiry, and electric, and he has plenty of power in the heroic themes of Bruch's well-worn Violin Concerto No. 1 in G major, Op. 26. The novelty here is Ole Bull's Cantabile doloroso e rondo giocoso for violin and orchestra. It's nice to see the music of Bull being revived, for it has much to tell about 19th century America and the public face of Romantic music in general. Siem's pure tone isn't quite capable of delivering the schmaltz required; nor do the slow movements of the two concertos have quite their quota of warmth. But make no mistake: this is a major talent, not just a pretty face. The London Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Gourlay stays where it belongs, in the background, and the engineering brings out Siem's exploits clearly. A fine virtuoso outing.

-- All Music Guide
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in G minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch
Performer:  Charlie Siem (Violin)
Conductor:  James Gourlay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Germany 
2.
Cantabile doloroso e Rondo giocoso, for violin & orchestra by Ole Borneman Bull
Performer:  Charlie Siem (Violin)
Conductor:  James Gourlay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837 
3.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 14 by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Charlie Siem (Violin)
Conductor:  James Gourlay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Russia 

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