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Lionel Sainsbury & Haydn Wood: Violin Concertos

Lionel Sainsbury & Haydn Wood: Violin Concertos

1 Sep 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Lionel Sainsbury & Haydn Wood: Violin Concertos
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this disc for the Haydn Wood violin concerto written in 1928. Having waited so long to hear the work I was disappointed. Yes it is very lyrical, pretty, diverting music but ultimately insubstantial, no more than "light music" (for which Wood became famous) albeit of a superior quality. I had never heard of Lionel Sainsbury before but his violin concerto is a revelation. Written in 1989 it is a marvellous addition to the 20th century violin concerto repertoire. It is everything that the Wood is not: an ambitious, solidly constructed major work with colourful orchestration and a heroic role for the soloist. It is passionate and romantic with a rhapsodic slow movement and a glorious finale,the longest movement of the three. Yet for all that it manages to be very much contemporary. Lorraine McAslan, who premiered the concerto, gives a wonderful performance. If this concerto does not enter the regular repertoire there is no justice. If you too are unfamiliar with Lionel Sainsbury but are a lover of beautiful music and superb violin playing don't hesitate to buy this disc.
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Format: Audio CD
If since the death of George Lloyd, you've longed for some real Romantic music to be written by a living composer, one of the works here should be just what you're looking for.
The Sainsbury concerto is the full neo-Romantic deal, unashamedly influenced by Barber and Walton, and with even a very discreet nod towards Sibelius at one point for a bar or so. The passages that interest me most have a feeling of a free, almost improvisatory, Delius-like quality. It's not 'new' but it's beautifully done - both work and performance - by turns stirring and lyrical. If you have a Romantic soul that is.

Dutton are doing great work in recording for the first time many lesser known British composers past and present.
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