Hyperion is pleased to present a thirteenth volume of the Romantic Violin Concerto. Although frequently featuring virtuoso showpieces by the composerviolinists of the nineteenth century, this series also includes works of great musical interest which for one reason or another have not entered the repertoire. The performance history of all three pieces recorded here is indissolubly linked with the turmoil of Schumanns last years. Schumanns Violin Concerto in D minor had to wait till 1937 for its premiere and has never become a standard work, but in the hands of Anthony Marwood it sounds remarkable. The Phantasie, by contrast, was lauded at its premiere and performed a number of times by Joachim. The Violin Concerto in A minor was arranged by Schumann from his Cello Concerto of the same opus number and is an important work in its own right. Marwoods great technique and thoughtful musicianship have made him increasingly an artist to notice, and he performs frequently in Australia and America as well as throughout Europe. Here he is accompanied by Hyperions house band, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Douglas Boyd.
Anthony Marwood is the latest violinist to go into bat on behalf of Schumann's late and much criticised D minor Violin Concerto, a work that was completed in 1853, but withheld by Clara Schumann after her husband's death, and eventually performed in 1937. There's little Marwood can do to disguise the shortcomings of the solo writing, or the repetitions of the finale, but he and the BBC Scottish Symphony under Douglas Boyd go at it with a great deal of enthusiasm, with the solo line very prominent in the sound picture. The single-movement Phantasie in C is more cogent and rewarding, while the "Violin Concerto in A minor" is a real curiosity the composer's 1853 recasting of his Cello Concerto in the same key. There's little rewriting involved, other than the obvious changes of register, so that the solo line tends to lie over the orchestral accompaniment rather than weaving its way through it, which does make the work seem less introspective than usual. *** --Guardian,30/08/12
Yehudi Menuhin saw Schumann's D minor Violin Concerto of 1853 as a missing link between Beethoven and Brahms. The reason it had been missing was that the great Hungarian virtuoso Joseph Joachim, whose artistry had inspired Schumann to write the piece in the first place, never performed it in public and, moreover, suggested that it be suppressed until a century after the composer's death. With Schumann's health declining, Joachim sensed a parallel weakening of creative impulse, and the concerto did not resurface until the Thirties. But in a performance as strong and imaginative as this one by Anthony Marwood its impact is considerable. The sinew of the first movement, with its bold opening statement and toughness of inner workings, is contrasted with the mellow, reflective lyricism of the central slow one and with the gentle whimsicalities of the polonaise finale. There are firm Schumann fingerprints all over the score, and it fully merits the passionate advocacy that it receives here, both from Marwood as soloist and from Douglas Boyd's astutely balanced conducting of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. --Telegraph,07/09/12
Some sweet-toned, intimate playing from Anthony Marwood. Performance *** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Nov'12
Anthony Marwood has an enviable reputation as a Schumann-player. So it's a pleasure to report that his advocacy of the collected works for violin and orchestra continues this high standard and places this latest instalment in Hyperion's Romantic Violin Concerto series at or near the forefront in this repertoire. GRAMOPHONE CHOICE --Gramophone, Dec'12
Concertos pour violon, WoO23 & op.29 - Fantaisie, op.131 / Anthony Marwood, violon - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Douglas Boyd, direction