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Britten: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto; Lachrymae / Anthony Marwood, Lawrence Power

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15
>Britten, Benjamin : Double Concerto, for violin, viola & orchestra in B minor (supressed by composer)
>Britten, Benjamin : Lachrymae, reflections on a song of Dowland, for viola & string orchestra, Op. 48a
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Long recognized as an outstanding c hamber musician, Anthony Marwood has more recently been making waves as a concerto soloist, with two contributions to the Romantic Violin Concerto series and now a disc of Britten with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov. The youthful Violin Concerto, with its mix of anguished lyricism and changeability of mood, nods to both Berg and Prokofi ev - but the result is entirely personal. Marwood is joined by star violist Lawrence Power for the still earlier Double Concerto, which is impressive above all for its precocious confidence. Written when Britten was just eighteen and still a student at the Royal College of Music, it had to wait sixty-five years before receiving its premiere in 1997. On the other end of the spectrum, the Lachrymae, inspired by a Dowland song, was written in 1950 but not orchestrated until 1976 - the year of the composer's death.

"This latest version is one of the best so far. Anthony Marwood's slightly detached, rhythmically incisive playing suits the dry, distantly neoclassical world of the Concerto perfectly, and Ilan Volkov marshals an equally crisp accompaniment. Nevertheless, the performance of the Double Concerto for violin, viola and strings seems even more remarkable...it [is] made to seem a wonderfully distinctive and characterful work." -The Guardian

Financial Times
Has the opening Moderato's edgy lyricism ever sounded so tantalisingly seductive? Marwood goes on to capture the sinewy vitality of the middle movement and, no less brilliantly, the quixotic moods of the closing Passacaglia... Power's big tone and bewitching agility give [Lachrymae] a stature that belies its modest duration.

International Record Review
This is a highly distinguished recording, very intelligently planned and exceptionally well executed... For me, the greatest revelation on this disc is the Double Concerto... the performance on this disc by Marwood and Lawrence Power reveals it to be an astonishing achievement as a work of art on several levels... Volkov has this style of composition almost in his blood and follows Power admirably [in Lachrymae].

Gramophone Magazine
This is a lithe, spiky rhythmical performance, bristling with satire in the Shostakovich style, at speeds well ahead of Britten's own. There is some lack of aural beauty... but every phrase is highly charged... Could this be a more telling depiction of the 1930s than the bittersweet sentiment found on the composer's own recording decades later?

Sunday Times
Anthony Marwood can hold his bowing arm high... with this bittersweet, sinuously virtuosic account of a work that repays repeated listening and vindicates Britten's faith in it. He is joined by Lawrence Power for a sumptuous account of the early (1932) Double Concerto... A brilliantly planned, played and recorded release.

The Arts Desk
[Lachrymae is] exquisite, beautifully played here by Lawrence Power...Volkov's BBC Scottish SO relish the first movement's spiky, quirky invention and are a superb foil for Anthony Marwood in the central danse macabre [of the Violin Concerto]...It's a compelling work, and this is a wonderful recording.

BBC Music Magazine
Aided by the alert Ilan Volkov, Anthony Marwood and Lawrence Power form a persuasive partnership...we are left in no doubt about the levels of searing commitment behind Marwood's performance. It's rounded off by Power's deeply thoughtful and refined account of the Lachrymae.

Fanfare Magazine
Some people still remain Britten-resistant, even one or two of Fanfare's reviewers. This is the disc I would recommend to them, because: It reveals the precision and clarity of thought that characterized Britten's music throughout his life, it reminds us what a master he was of instrumental music, it contains one of his undoubted masterpieces ... and the performances are marvelous. Phillip Scott

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
The BBC Scottish Symphony under Ilan Volkov offers solid support for the soloists, and Hyperion's sound is good as usual.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (01/12/2011-01/13/2011).



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15
  • Performer: Anthony Marwood (Violin)
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (01/12/2011-01/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1939

>Britten, Benjamin : Double Concerto, for violin, viola & orchestra in B minor (supressed by composer)
  • Performers: Anthony Marwood (Violin); Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (01/12/2011-01/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1932

>Britten, Benjamin : Lachrymae, reflections on a song of Dowland, for viola & string orchestra, Op. 48a
  • Performer: Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (01/12/2011-01/13/2011)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1976