SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
DVORAK Violin Concerto
LSO/Colin Davis (Sibelius) rec 1979
Royal Concertgebouw/Colin Davis (Dvorak) rec
ELOQUENCE 468 144 2
Commentary on the Eloquence series
After establishing his name with THE complete Paganini violin concertos on
DG in the early 1970s Accardo migrated freely between record companies. His
Collins coupling of the Elgar and Walton concertos remains a highlight for
me and is now reissued on the budget Regis label. The sojourn with Philips
also bore healthy fruit.
Accardo's tone is always clean and unwavering; so much so that some might
equate this with a lack of emotional 'juice'. The Dvorak concerto assuredly
defies that fear. Accardo is gracious and joyous in this singer's celebration
of a concerto. The Concerto is no grim contest but plies the same seas as
Dvorak's symphonies 7 and 8. It is a lovely performance of a contentedly
romantic work; a successor to Bruch No. 1 and the Mendelssohn. Having reviewed
the much older Josef Suk (Supraphon) version recently I would count Accardo's
and Davis's (a highly regarded Sibelian of course) on the same level although
the Eloquence boasts better sound quality.
The Sibelius is not at quite the same exalted level but only slightly. Its
virtues are those of deliberation. Accardo takes time to colour and touch
in the poetry. He is placed ideally in relation to the orchestra - not unduly
emphasised but not subsumed into the orchestral fabric either. Orchestral
detail including the pp grimacing of the horns in the finale is testimony
to Philips' original recording team.
Anyone picking up this disc in a motorway service area will have acquired
a really classy pair of recordings.
No liner notes but at this price who cares! If you want to find out about
these works then there is always the library or the internet.