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EMR CD023

EM RECORDS | EMR CD023


‘THE FIRE THAT BREAKS FROM THEE’
Violin Concertos by Milford and Stanford

 

BBC Concert Orchestra | Owain Arwel Hughes (cond.)
Rupert Marshall-Luck (vn)

 

EAN 5 060263 500209

Milford’s idiom has a lean purity, plus a flair for long-spun, yet beautifully focused melodic line. All this is conveyed with much loveliness by Rupert Marshall-Luck, whose handsome tone and laser-like tuning are remarkable in themselves.

MALCOLM HAYES | BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

[Stanford’s Second Violin Concerto] is a wonderfully fluent, warm-hearted creation... Dashingly committed treatment it enjoys, too, from Rupert Marshall-Luck, who receives uncommonly fine support from Owain Arwel Hughes at the helm of the BBC Concert Orchestra... To my mind, this powerfully affecting 38-minute canvas [the Milford Concerto] undoubtedly constitutes a major find... The present artists do Milford absolutely proud.

ANDREW ACHENBACH | GRAMOPHONE

[The Milford Concerto] is so beautifully written throughout, so imaginitively balanced and at times so endearingly attractive that one can but thank EM Records and these musicians for their enterprise in bringing it to life. Rupert Marshall-Luck gives very convincing performances throughout (the cadenza of the first movement in particular is outstandingly well played) and Owain Arwel Hughes and the excellent BBC Concert Orchestra provide a splendid partnership. Don’t miss this one.

ROBERT MATTHEW-WALKER | INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW

Rupert Marshall-Luck is clearly in his element... his performance is sensitive and committed. His performance in both concerti is sensitive and committed, and he's a convincing advocate for both works... Highly recommended.

DAVID SMITH | PRESTO CLASSICAL

It’s hard to imagine that either concerto could have received stronger or more effective advocacy than from Rupert Marshall-Luck. Whenever the music demands it, his playing is deft and agile; but the most enduring memory is the poetry and feeling that he brings to the lyrical passages in which both works abound. His performance of the Stanford slow movement alone is worth the price of the disc.

JOHN QUINN | MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

The Violin Concerto by Robin Milford was composed in 1937 and received two radio broadcasts – but was laid aside and forgotten following the early death of its composer. Possibly it was a victim of the trend then prevalent towards the programming of fiercely avant-garde compositions, both in concert halls and on the BBC, but its strongly melodic basis, its heady lyricism, and its passionate declamations make it a work undeserving of its neglect. Cast in three movements, it has much originality of structure: it opens with an extended, songful passage for the solo instrument, which is the subject for later development; however, a brilliant, dance-like episode follows, in which virtuosic double-stopping and cascading arpeggios in the violin are complemented by vigorous statements from the orchestra. The central movement, full of passion, soaring melodies and rich textures, and in which the influence of Elgar is very evident, leads without a pause into the boundless energy of the finale, in which the solo instrument leaps exuberantly, cajoles persuasively, and dances delicately, before the material of the whole concerto is summed up by the orchestra in a glorious apotheosis. The sombre, shadowed coda that brings the work to a thought-provoking close seems to have autobiographical overtones, perhaps being indicative of the dark depression that affected Milford throughout his life.

 

Although more evidently rooted in the Austro-Germanic tradition of Bruch and Brahms, the Violin Concerto nr 2 of Charles Villiers Stanford is no less a fascinating work. Composed in 1918, yet left only in a short-score form upon the composer’s death in 1924, it was finally completed in 2011 by the noted Stanford scholar Jeremy Dibble, who used his expert knowledge of Stanford’s compositional methods to realise the orchestration and thus to make the work performable in its intended context. The Concerto is especially memorable for the warmly glowing second movement, which seems to recall an Irish folk melody, whilst the inspired dialogue between solo violin and clarinet that characterises the central section provides a movingly effective complement.

TRACK LISTING AND AUDIO SAMPLES

Gustav Holst (1874–1934)
1. WALT WHITMAN OVERTURE  
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Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
VIOLIN CONCERTO NR 2 IN G MINOR, op.162 (WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING)
2. I. Allegro moderato ma con fuoco – [Meno mosso] –  
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3. II. Andante  
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4. III. FINALE: Allegro molto  
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Robin Milford (1903–1959)
VIOLIN CONCERTO IN G MINOR, op.47 (WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING)
5. I. Adagio – Allegretto – Adagio – Allegro vivace – Poco meno mosso – Adagio – Allegro vivace  
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6.

II. Lento molto – Lento – Più mosso – Lento – Più mosso – Lento molto –  
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7. III. Allegro vivace – Meno mosso – Lento  
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