on 30 April 2013
In the liner notes, Tasmin Little writes about having listened a lot to Ida Haendel's classic recording with Paavo Berglund and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Had it not been written in black and white, I think it would have been obvious to those of us that love this work that Little had used the great Ida's performance as a template for her own recording. Tempi are similar and there's a no-nonsense approach which reminds us of one of the greatest performance of a violin concerto ever to be recorded! (IMHO). The sound quality that Little produces could best be described as searing, especially in the work's many passages high up the e string where intonation is (almost!) as good as the great veteran's. It's no shame for me to offer the opinion that Little comes very close to the very high bar that Haendel sets.
What makes this disc special for me is the amount of orchestral detail that's revealed, due in equal measure to the conductor, orchestra and recording. (The fortissimos are VERY loud!). Clearly, both soloist and conductor are of equal mind in their approach to the work.
I have to be honest and say I don't know the piano concerto at all but, having listened to it twice now, I feel that this performance is going to be an outstanding guide to learning it.
on 5 November 2013
Britten is known mainly for his prolific operatic and vocal output.
I came to like him after listening to his great opera "Peter Grimes" and his beautiful vocal work "Les Illuminations", especially the wonderful and haunting song in it "Being Beauteous".
This CD gave me the chance to get into Britten's instrumental music world.
I believe these concertos are among the best concertos of the last century.
I loved the Violin Concerto.
My feelings for the Piano Concerto is changing in time to more positive. Due to critics' responses, Britten has replaced the third movement with a new version and this CD includes the original version as well, which allows one to compare both versions easily and it is quite interesting. I think the original version is beautiful as well and I wonder why he replaced it.
I recommend this CD to music lovers who like to get deeper in search of knowing the composer himself as well.