SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

EDWARD ELGAR: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in B Minor; RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending


Published on May 17, 2005

EDWARD ELGAR: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in B Minor; RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending
EDWARD ELGAR: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in B Minor; RALPH
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending – Hilary Hahn, violin/London
Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis – DGG multichannel SACD 00289 474
8732, 66:10 ****:

The long, long orchestral
introduction before the solo viiolin ever enters in the Elgar harks
back to Classical period concertos and is probably the last great
violin concerto to have such a buildup. The very romantic and emotional
concerto is formally dedicated to Fritz Kreisler but Elgar wrote “our
concerto” to the daughter of his friend painter Sir John Millais. Both
she and Elgar’s wife were named Alice. (Wonder what Elgar’s wife
thought of all this?) Anyway, the work is lush and poignantly melodic,
with nice solos for the violin. It is considered second only to the
Berg Violin Concerto in its autobiographical status, as Elgar poured
himself into it. A poem about the lark inspired Vaughan Williams in his
16-minute “concerto” for violin and orchestra. The music combinese
etherealness with poignancy. The hi-res sound insures that the
wonderful string tone of the London Symphony is preserved in all its
beauty. Hahn’s violin really does seem to float and soar above the
impressionistic orchestral background. Another winner for her; but why
does she in all the attractive photos in the note booklet still look
about age 15?

- John Sunier




on this article to AUDIOPHILE AUDITION!

Email this page to a friend.   View a printer-friendly version of the article.


Copyright © Audiophile Audition   All rights Reserved