Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Aubert LEMELAND (b. 1932)
Three Concertos for violin and string orchestra
Concerto Funebre (1992)
Concerto Op. 128 (1985)
Concerto Op. 148 (1985)
Marie-Annick Nicolas (violin)
Orchestra de Chambre National de Toulouse/Emmanuel Plasson
SKARBO SK3922 [52.05]

Lemeland, as the interview format notes point out, is much taken with the American symphonic school of the 1930s-1950s. He cites his high regard for the triumvirate of American Third Symphonies: Copland, Schuman, Roy Harris. He encountered these works in the 1950s in Paris when he and Gilbert Amy were in the habit of borrowing scores and recordings from the US Embassy - presumably not a service any longer offered by the embassies. Also in his pantheon is Appalachian Spring, Schuman's string quartet no. 3 and Symphony No. 6 with Barber symphony No. 1.

The three concertos are compact being in one, three and two movements respectively. None of them are in a recognisably Gallic style ... at least not if your reference is Ravel or Debussy. The Schuman memoriam is from 1992. It is searching, big-boned, tense, wonderfully played (as are all three) by Nicolas. You might easily think you were listening to one of Schuman's largos at many points in the three works. Lemeland is a powerful composer and his concentration and that of Nicolas is palpable in the Adagio espressivo of Op. 128 and the two lentos of Op. 148. The closing pages are an 'abschied' of telling breathless enchantment.

If you are inclined towards Schuman, Berg, Rawsthorne and Frankel you will want this well presented disc and would do well to search it out. The shortish playing time doessn't seem to matter when you are engaged with this music.


Rob Barnett

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Rob Barnett

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