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Violin Concertos Nos. 1 And 2

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Frequently Bought Together

Violin Concertos Nos. 1 And 2 + Rawsthorne: Symphonies Nos. 1-3 + Rawsthorne: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, Improvisations on a theme by Constant Lambert
Price For All Three: £19.63

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Product details

  • Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Lionel Friend
  • Composer: Alan Rawsthorne
  • Audio CD (30 April 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000009CJN
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,557 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Fantasy Overture, "Corteges": Fantasy Overture: CortegesLionel Friend13:21Album Only
Listen  2. Violin Concerto No. 1: Adagio espressivo e rubato - Andante con moto, poco teneramenteRebecca Hirsch15:49Album Only
Listen  3. Violin Concerto No. 1: Andante (I'istesso tempo) - Allegro - Allegro ModeratoLionel Friend11:33Album Only
Listen  4. Violin Concerto No. 2: AllegrettoRebecca Hirsch 8:47Album Only
Listen  5. Violin Concerto No. 2: Poco lentoLionel Friend 6:41£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Violin Concerto No. 2: Tema con VariazioniRebecca Hirsch 7:53£0.69  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Music of discriminating substance, quiet purpose and impressive polish, well worth getting to know. Lancashire-born Alan Rawsthorne (1905-71) completed his First Violin Concerto in 1947, dedicating it to his friend (and fellow Northerner) William Walton (keep an ear out for the mischievous snatch from Belshazzar's Feast just before the close!). It's in just two movements and plots a thoughtful course from wistful expectancy to hard-won exuberance. Though lyrically less effusive, its successor from 1956 is, if anything, even more economical and searchingly individual (the Poco lento slow movement is an especially striking creation). Rebecca Hirsch is one of Britain's most commanding young violinists and her thrusting, clean-heeled contribution sparks off some notably enthusiastic playing from the admirable BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the ever-watchful Lionel Friend. We also get a lively account of the fantasy overture Cortèges, a highly inventive 13-minute essay commissioned by the BBC for the 1945 Proms. Adventurous listeners should seek out this tremendously resourceful Naxos package without further ado. -- Andrew Achenbach

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By someonewhocares2 on 24 Mar 2011
Format: Audio CD
Rawsthorne's Violin Concerto No 1 was premiered by Theo Olof and the Halle Orchestra under Barbirolli in 1947. It is a very fine piece which I can highly recommend. However, it is not an easy listen. Although the music is not atonal, it is highly chromatic and unstable. In many passages you may find it difficult to detect a tonal centre or you may sense it continually changing. The thematic material, then, is not easy to pick up, especially in the first movement. Furthermore, Rawsthorne's structures are very fluid. In music which is so tonally unstable, traditional structures, such as sonata form, which are so often propelled by tonal considerations, have less relevance. Rawsthorne, then, having stated his material, often develops it by a process of continual variation, merging one variation into the next almost imperceptibly. The main melodic line may be disguised by dense contrapuntal writing. The violin is very much "primus inter pares" and one of the strengths of this recording is that no attempt has been made to spotlight the soloist.

Though not formally identified as such, the 16 minute first movement of the First Concerto is a theme and variations. The soloist states the main idea at once. (It may be a good plan to listen to the first 2 mins 20 secs several times before progressing.) With repeated listening (it's worth the effort!) the music's logic will become clear. However, at a first hearing, make sure you don't miss the new descending variant first heard (with a cymbal clash) at 5 mins 30 secs. A cadenza, built on the main theme, comes rather sooner than you'd expect. The ensuing variation is closely related to the first variation and this superb movement concludes with a final reference to the main theme.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Neo-Baroque Art of Alan Rawsthorne 5 Nov 2000
By Thomas F. Bertonneau - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Although Alan Rawsthorne (1905-1971) has never enjoyed the high profile of Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, or William Walton, he remains one of those "respected presences" acknowledged in the critical literature while little heard. He wrote in a more calculatedly modernistic vein than either Britten or Walton and died young compared to Tippett, who produced more and imposed his style on his audience through shear endurance. Rawsthorne first came to public attention in the 1930s, with a "Theme and Variations for Two Violins" (1937) and "Symphonic Studies" (1939) for orchestra. Both scores attested to his baroque orientation. The "Symphonic Studies" showed, in addition, Rawsthorne's symphonic ambition, for aside from being a passacaglia, it also succeeds in integrating those "large-scale contrasts" out of which the tension proper to symphonic form is developed, according to Hans Keller. Rawsthorne would eventually write three symphonies properly named (1950, 1959, and 1964), two concertos for violin (1948 and 1956), two for piano (1942 and 1951), one for cello (1966), and one for two pianos (1968), all with orchestra. A number of string-orchestra works, overtures, and chamber essays fill out his catalogue. The music speaks in a distinct (but recognizably English) voice. The two concertos for violin and orchestra assembled by Naxos (and joined on the program by the overture "Cortèges" [1945]) make a fair representation of Rawsthorne's art. The First Violin Concerto, which Rawsthorne composed after his discharge from wartime military service (he achieved the exalted rank of sergeant-major), comprises two large symphonic slabs, mostly in slow tempi, that give the orchestra equal status with the solo instrument. The First Movement begins with the solo building on a four-note, rising-and-falling, motif, taken up by the orchestra and expanded lyrically and passionately. Some of this movement appears to conform to the passacaglia formula of thematic variation and development over a repeating invariant countertheme in the bass. The Second Movement, dominated by a six-note motif that rises where the four-note motif of the First Movement fell, accelerates gradually from andante to allegro and from the minor to the major key. Rawsthorne dedicated this score to William Walton. The Second Violin Concerto, from eight years later, exhibits a more orthodox structure (three movements) than the First. Its First Movement, generally serene, recalls Holst; its Second Movement, punctuated by an edgy, slightly dissonant fanfare, has a peculiarly nocturnal atmosphere. The Concerto's Third Movement comprises a theme and variations - that most English of compositional forms and one that is ubiquitous in Rawsthorne's oeuvre. Soloist Rebecca Hirsch brings the right combination of lyric freedom and muscularity to the composer's long lines. "Cortèges," in the plural, bears the description "Fantasy Overture." From the war-years, it self-consciously takes up the British tradition of the processional, and reminds us, in its shadowy way, of composers as different as Elgar ("Cockaigne") and Holst ("Egdon Heath"). Lionel Friend leads the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in convincing performances.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Authoritative performances of major British Composer's Music 18 Jan 1999
By - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Rawsthorne is relatively unknown in the US. This cd from the ever-enterprising Naxos people gives us a low priced sampler of his music. Violinist Hirsch does admirably and the orchestra is fine also. The music is dark in nature and is not easy-listening! The overture is somewhat lighter in nature. The musical style seems atonal but not twelve tone. An admirable disc, but I shall report if I end up loving these works rather than admiring them.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent concertos but beware of imitations 19 April 2006
By Redgecko - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If you can find the out-of-print original Naxos release then buy it.

Beware of the on-demand copies that Archiv Music sometimes sell in the Marketplace. They do not include liner notes.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Beware 15 Jan 2010
By R. Weiss - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is not a Red Book CD. There are no notes. What's more, there is no way to know that Amazon has not made this CD-R from low-quality mp3 files. For your information, Arkiv Music is selling only mp3s of this disc. I still have no idea why Naxos would pull the item from their catalog. Several other discs of Rawsthorne's music still are available. I recommend the Cello Concerto/Symphonic Studies.
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