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A perfect coupling in arguably close to definitive performances,
This review is from: Britten: Piano Concerto; Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
This disc, well recorded in 1970, pairs together Britten's only two concertos which were written towards the end of the 1930's and before there were any obvious signs of his future focus as a pre-eminent opera composer of his generation.
The piano concerto was later revised to the current version in 1945 with the original Recitative and Aria movement replaced with the Impromptu as played here. That impromptu, really a passacaglia, matched the Passacaglia last movement of the violin concerto.
Both concertos are very well played on this recording which, like most if not all of Britten's recordings, has claim to be considered a defining statement of the composer's intent. Britten was well-known as an excellent conductor of his own work. In the case of the piano concerto he has here not only a renowned virtuoso pianist to work with, but also a close friend. Naturally enough the result is one that would be hard to match let alone improve upon.
Much the same can be said about the quality of the playing in the violin concerto with Mark Lubotsky proving to be both an incisive and sensitive player of considerable technical resource. Of the two concertos, the violin concerto has been the more frequently played and the recording with Lorraine McAslan is well worth searching out although copies are hard to find these days.
I would suggest that this pair of recordings is as close to self-recommending as it is possible to be. It makes a strong case for consideration as the obvious purchase option.