The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Scott: Violin Concerto, Festival Overture, Aubade op.77, Three Symphonic Dances op.22
Friday, 01 June 2007
Olivier Charlier (violin) BBC Philharmonic, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Chandos CHAN 10407
At the outset of the 20th century Cyril Scott was much admired by the music establishment as a progressive modernist, but his lack of stylistic development soon found him loosing touch with that era of rapid change. His Violin Concerto, dating from 1926, owes much to Delius and the shimmering colours of Debussy, while passages flying into the violin stratosphere recall the sumptuous eroticism of Szymanowski. It runs as a continuous movement but is in four discernible sections.
The piece dropped from the repertoire after its first performance in 1928 and this is its premiere recording. It could surely never want for more persuasive advocates: Olivier Charlier’s technical mastery makes light of the solo part’s many difficulties with pinpoint accuracy of intonation, while Martyn Brabbins obtains the most gorgeous backdrop from the BBC orchestra, whose woodwind revel in Scott’s mercurial writing. I fervently commend the concerto as a discovery of real quality; three highly enjoyable orchestral scores complete a disc of outstanding sound quality.
From the June 2007 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.