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American Classics - Barber: Violin Concerto, Souvenirs, Etc / Buswell


Release Date: 01/15/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559044   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Samuel Barber
Performer:  James Oliver Buswell
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What's a critic to say? There are so many really excellent recordings of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto that any newcomer has to be little short of amazing to challenge the status quo. James Buswell plays a mean fiddle, offering a nicely singing opening Allegro, a rapt Andante, and an impressively brilliant finale. Conductor Marin Alsop stays with him all the way, fashioning an appealingly fresh and rhythmically spirited accompaniment. Still, the performance lacks the Romantic ardor of Isaac Stern in the first two movements and the insane virtuosity of Hilary Hahn in the finale (both performances are on Sony). This means that there ought to be a good reason to acquire this disc aside from the Violin Concerto, however good it may be (and Read more make no mistake, it is very good).


Happily, Alsop and the Scottish National Orchestra furnish just such a reason in the form of an energetic rendition of Souvenirs and a sensitive reading of Barber's very rarely heard Serenade for Strings (his Op. 1). Music for a Scene from Shelley receives a less richly upholstered interpretation than most others, with plenty of revealing inner detail to compensate and a climax capped by a massive stroke on the tam-tam. Naxos' recording team captures all of it in clear, well-balanced sound with excellent depth and a wide (but not irrational) dynamic range. Taken as a whole, this disc makes a worthy addition to Naxos' ongoing Barber series, even if you do wind up with yet another fine recording of the Violin Concerto along the way.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin, Op. 14 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  James Oliver Buswell (Violin)
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/27/2001 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 23 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2.
Souvenirs, Op. 28 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2000 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 20 Minutes 43 Secs. 
3.
Serenade for Strings, Op. 1 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/1999 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 10 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4.
Music for a Scene from Shelley, Op. 7 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/1999 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 9 Minutes 49 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto, Op. 14: I. Allegro
Violin Concerto, Op. 14: II. Andante
Violin Concerto, Op. 14: III. Presto in moto perpetuoso
Souvenirs, Op. 28 (version for orchestra): I. Waltz (The Lobby)
Souvenirs, Op. 28 (version for orchestra): II. Schottische (Third Floor Hallway)
Souvenirs, Op. 28 (version for orchestra): III. Pas de Deux (A Corner of the Ballroom)
Souvenirs, Op. 28 (version for orchestra): IV. Two-Step (Tea in the Palm Court)
Souvenirs, Op. 28 (version for orchestra): V. Hesitation-Tango (A Bedroom Affair)
Souvenirs, Op. 28 (version for orchestra): VI. Galop (The Next Afternoon)
Serenade, Op. 1: I. Un poco adagio - Allegro con sprito
Serenade, Op. 1: II. Andante con moto
Serenade, Op. 1: III. Dance - Allegro giocoso
Music for a Scene from Shelley, Op. 7

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