Marriner’s 1980 digital remake of the concertos with a top-flight assembly of soloists represents the epitome of the “orchestral” approach to this music. The readings are distinguished by superb modern string playing and outstanding work from the assembled soloists. Sir Neville’s flowing tempos are well suited to his approach, but the readings do tend to be a little downbeat-heavy, and the natural tendency of the ASMF strings to smooth out the texture further limits the rhythmic interest of the performances. Still, the tonal beauty of these readings and the virtuosity of the soloists are strong compensation. Philips’s recording offers a warm, plush sound, but is perhaps a little wooly at times.
– Ted Libbey, author of
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