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Barber: Violin Concerto CD


Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Marin Alsop has been Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, a relationship now extended to 2015. Currently Conductor Emeritus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Laureate of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, since 1992 she has also been Music Director of California’s prize-winning Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. She appears regularly ... Read more in Amazon's Marin Alsop Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Barber: Violin Concerto + Samuel Barber: Orchestral Works, Vol.2 + Samuel Barber: Orchestral Works, Vol.1 / Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
Price For All Three: £17.45

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Product details

  • Performer: James Buswell
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Audio CD (14 Nov. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00005RT4V
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,512 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Violin Concerto, Op. 14
2. Souvenirs (Ballet Suite), Op. 28
3. Serenade for Strings, Op. 1
4. Music for a Scene from Shelley, Op. 7

Product Description

James Buswell, violon - Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Marin Alsop, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Matt Westwood on 16 April 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like most casual listeners to classical music, I had heard very little Barber apart from that ubiquitous Adagio, and I wasn't sure what I was going to get.
Well, it's light-hearted and dainty, and perhaps not what you'd expect. It has to be pointed out that the four pieces on this CD are actually all very different. The Violin Concerto comes across as a "serious" piece, while the "Souvenirs" is almost like a set of pastiches. The "Serenade for Strings" sounds almost Prokofiev-like in places. However, the "Music from a scene by Shelley" is perhaps the most interestingly spooky piece, evoking images (to me anyway) of boggy, moonlit woods.
Barber is certainly an accessible composer and at the same time interesting and unusual in some of his turns of phrase, so to speak. He always seems to make me think "That sounds a bit like ..." before being jolted out of this train of thought by something completely unexpected in the next bar.
Yes, it's worth exploring Barber, and there are worse places to do so than from here. Naxos once again have presented an unusual set of works at an irresistible price.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nobody TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The violin concerto is the headline work here and is well performed though I wonder whether it is the violin or the recording that makes the violin tone sound a bit thin. This is not a fault wit the intrument or the playing. All the works demonstrate the same air of nostalgic romanticism mixed with a classical poise and restraint.

So despite the tone of the violin in the concerto this is a very enjoyable disc at a bargain price.
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By Mr J S Pattenden on 4 April 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very pleased with service and product
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Barber Well-Served 5 July 2002
By Jenny Hanniver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the twentieth century's finest violin concertos is out in an economical Naxos edition conducted by Marin Alsop. Ms. Alsop is one of Naxos' leading conductors. Her management of the orchestra is sensitive, and Boswell's violin playing is superb. The latest BBC MUSIC (one of my favorite magazines) has a featured article on the Barber Violin Concerto, well worth reading, and praises the Naxos recording. Naxos just gets better and better! Highly recommended.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Barber Violin Concerto; Buswell 21 Nov. 2004
By John Peters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
James Buswell's playing is wonderful; the tone is neither too syrupy nor harsh, and his playing is clean. The orchestral strings are a little strained, but the balance is great, with the violin sound weaving in and out of the upper sections perfectly. At all times the romantisism is kept at bay by unfussed playing. For an inexpensive recording, this version of the Barber is a treat. Very highly recomended as an introduction to Barber. If it is a 'definitive' version of the concerto you are looking for, then a more widely known interpretation might be a better bet (ie. Stern). Otherwise, buy it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Pleasant readings of lovely, lyrical works 30 Jun. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It must be great to go thorugh life with the aristocratic moniker of James Oliver Buswell IV. As a violinist, Buswell is more a man of the people than an aristocrat: he gives a modest, sweet-toned reading of the Barber Violin Concerto that doesn't show off its virtuosic technique. Marin Alsop forgoes rhythmic strength in favor of free-form songfulness, and the music can take it. The perpetual motion finale is excitingly fast, and Naxos provides exceptionally clear, natural sonics, among the best I've heard in this work.

The other works will be new even to listeners who follow Barber fairly closely. Souvenirs is a ripely nostalgic ballet suite set in a grand hotel--it also exists in a two-paino version, I think--with breezy dances from the turn of the century, such as a waltz, schottische, and two-step. Barber's melodies aren't first-rate, but this is gentle, easy listening.

The Serenade for Strings echos its famous predecessors by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. Compared to them, this wispy, light-footed movement feels like tea-party music. But it's Barber's Op. 1 and is here basically to fill out our knowledge of his beginnings. His more impressive Op. 7, Music for a Scene from Shelley, is begins as gentle, moody shimmers but builds to a surprisingly strong climax that evokes mystery and perhaps tragic loss.

In all, these fillers pretty much amount to pstel water-color sketches. The Violin Concerto is the main attraction, and it's nicely done at bargain price.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A thoroughly convincing version of the violin concerto with some excellently performed rarities 25 May 2010
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Barber's violin concerto is hardly lacking in good performances on disc, but the Buswell-Alsop partnership turns in a serious contender here. To be honest, I find it a little hard to pinpoint exactly what I found so attractive about this performance - I have heard warmer and richer violin playing in the work, and Buswell doesn't (and doesn't attempt to) challenge Hilary Hahn for bravura and brilliant virtuosity (especially in the finale). Yet there is something that strikes me as thoroughly unforced and compelling about this performance - the phrasing is effortless, the melodic lines singing (especially in the first movement) with a wistfully autumnal quality to it. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra offers an excellent partnership under Marin Alsop - spirited, rhythmically sharp and incisive and thoroughly alive. So even though the performance might not displace the classics, it is worthy of comparison and might, perhaps, even be a first choice for newcomers to this adorable work.

This release is not the least valuable for the couplings. Souvenirs receive a brisk, fabulously played performance and the Music for a Scene from Shelley is more detailed and restrained than competing performances - I am not in the end completely convinced by Alsop's approach here, but then I have never been completely convinced that this is a work worth salvaging anyway. The disc is, however, made even more noteworthy for the inclusion of the early and little-performed Serenade for Strings (Barber's op.1). It might not be a masterpiece in any respect, but comes across as irrestistibly charming in Alsop's warm and considerate approach (and the beautifully lush tone of the Scottish strings). The sound is clear, finely balanced and with a good perspective. In sum, this is a strongly recommended disc and another important installment in Naxos's Barber series.
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