REVIEW: Sibelius: Violin Concerto. Edwards: Violin Concerto ‘Maninyas’

ViolinConcerto

The Strad issue

11/01/2011

Description

Nordic cool meets the heat of the Australian desert in an unusual coupling of concertos

Musicians

Adele Anthony (violin) Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/Arvo Volmer

Composer

Sibelius, Edwards

Adele Anthony won the ABC competition back in 1984 aged just 13 playing the Sibelius Concerto, and now you can hear why. She produces a gloriously full sound at all dynamic levels and possesses a magical, cushioned staccato (unusual for a Dorothy DeLay student). Even in the finale’s notorious multiple-stops she maintains absolute tonal composure. No matter how intricate the writing becomes her sound never stops singing, and she brings a heart-warming lyricism to passages that in other hands become a blur of virtuoso athletics.

Anthony has chosen to couple the Sibelius not with another Romantic warhorse but with Maninyas, a highly engaging concerto that draws heavily upon Ross Edwards’s music of the 1980s. Maninya style is derived from the music of the Australian bush, driven by infectious dance rhythms and a bracing sense of colour. At times, as towards the end of the first movement’s opening section and the end of the invigorating finale, the music achieves a meditative calm that is deeply affecting. Anthony relishes every moment with a profound sense of authenticity, supported to the hilt by Arvo Volmer and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, captured in alluring, naturally balanced sound.  

JULIAN HAYLOCK