Enchanting performances with just the right touch of sweetness

Andrew Haveron: Korngold

Andrew Haveron: Korngold


The Strad Issue: June 2020

Description: Enchanting performances with just the right touch of sweetness

Musicians: Andrew Haveron (violin) Sinfonia of London Chamber Ensemble, RTÉ Concert Orchestra/John Wilson

Works: Korngold: Violin Concerto; String Sextet op. 10

Catalogue Number: CHANDOS 20135

Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Haveron shows his virtuosic mettle in this considered reading of Korngold’s sumptuously Romantic and once-neglected Violin Concerto. This infectiously exuberant and expansive work can so easily descend into syrupy sweetness, but Haveron manages to imbue the slow movement in particular with a more introspective air, sounding almost brittle and bittersweet in places. He is ably supported by John Wilson and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, in a recording of gorgeous polish and warmth throughout. Here, the colours are beautifully shaded and Korngold’s lyrical outpourings never descending into schmaltz.

The youthful String Sextet op.10 is a compelling pairing. Haveron leads the Sinfonia of London Chamber Ensemble in this opulent piece, written when Korngold was just 17, and rich with chromatic invention. Textures are lustrous and gorgeously rich, the players achieving a finely honed ensemble sound. After the sonorous declamations of the opening, the anguished Adagio is finely judged, with some particularly fine soloistic moments – not least from cellist Jonathan Aasgaard. After a lithe and lilting Intermezzo, the finale is suitably high-spirited and brims with life. All in all, this is an enchanting disc, and one that really reveals the light and shade of Korngold’s oeuvre.