9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A profound disappointment,
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This review is from: Schumann: Romantic Violin Concerto 13 (D Minor/ A Minor/ Phantasie) (Anthony Marwood; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Boyd) (Hyperion: CDA67847) (Audio CD)
I have always enjoyed Anthony Marwood's playing as a chamber musician with the Florestan Trio - indeed their Schumann Piano Trio recording is a a favourite of mine. It seemed to me that all augured well for this record - the Schumann Violin Concerto , a work still unjustly maligned in my view , Schumann's own transcription for violin of his cello concerto and the Fantasy for violin and orchestra with the excellent Douglas Boyd conducting .
My hopes have , however, been sadly dashed . This is a very disappointing record. The Schumann violin concerto is given a prosaic and dull reading and Marwood's tone is wispy, sounding almost effortful to my ears and lacking in emotion. The orchestral playing is competent but uncommitted. The first movement struck me as too slow, the slow movement passes by aimlessly and the finale is simply dreary. A performance like this almost justifies the suppression of the work !
There have been far better recordings of this concerto - Kremer/Muti is preferable on just about every count - the slow movement is moving , the finale propulsive and the opening movement full of character . Menuhin and Barbirolli back in 1938 are in another league too. Perhaps this work like few others in the concerto repertoire really needs a great virtuoso violinist rather than a chamber musician to make it sing .
The transcription of the cello concerto passes by unremarkably . Its virtue perhaps being that it makes one rush back to the original but that to me is as much a result of the loss of warmth of the cello than this performance. The performance of the Fantasy goes with more of a swing but is nowhere near enough to save this disc . Try Mutter and Masur - a performance of far more passion and musicality .
In my view - avoid !