Tamsin Waley-Cohen continues her series of concerto recordings on this release with works by contrasting American composers. Already considered by many to be a mdoern classic, John Adams' Violin Concerto was described by the composer as having a "hypermelody", in which the soloist plays long phrases without stop for the uration of the piece. Although composed in 1949, the first performance of Roy Harris's Violin Concerto didn't occur until 1984. Since then it has been championed for it's "luminous orchestration and exalted tone."
Roy Harris' 1949 Violin Concerto is an ambitious work, sprawling but dynamic. Slower sections are rhapsodic, drawn-out and soariing, while more driven passages have the wide open landscape sound so evocative of the US. The exuberant opening and abrupt ending sound more modern; they could almost be by John Adams, whose dense, multi-layered 1993 concerto is the other work recorded here. Tamsin Waley-Cohen handles its grueling solo part with athleticism and conviction, and both pieces benefit from the punchy playing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and insightful conducting of Andrew Litton.
– Guardian (UK)