The Strad Issue: January 2011
Description: A fresh approach to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto that includes new cadenzas
Musicians: David Grimal (violin/director) Les Dissonances
Composer: Beethoven

Faced with such an enormous choice of recordings of the Beethoven concerto, this one at least has a unique selling point in new cadenzas composed for David Grimal by Brice Pauset. Although they remain within the bounds of propriety, that for the first movement is unusual in its inclusion at its mid-point of an orchestral role with solo piano. Otherwise the performance, taken from a Dijon concert in 2010, is a rewardingly fresh reading of the printed score. Maybe the central Larghetto is a little slow, but the whole account has an unhurried feel, and Grimal’s long lyric lines are shaped with beauty and much affection.  

Founded by Grimal in 2004, and directed by him from the leader’s chair, the period-instrument orchestra Les Dissonances adds a lively account of the Seventh Symphony. Apart from a few extraneous noises the works are well recorded. There are also excerpts of both works in DVD format on the second disc.