EMR CD023 | DETAILS
  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)
   
  Release date: 15 May 2014 | EAN 5 060263 500209
Recorded in association with BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Concert Orchestra

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 no.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 EXTRACTS
     
Gustav Holst (1874–1934)
   
1. ‘WALT WHITMAN’ OVERTURE (1899)  
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Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)

VIOLIN CONCERTO NO.2 IN G MINOR, op.162 (1918)
(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 (1937)
(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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REVIEWS
Beautifully shaped by Benjamin Frith... Beguiling sounds, graced by the tawny richness and unexaggerated line of Richard Jenkinson’s cello playing... The sense of purpose and sureness of line of Ian Venables’ music is pure oxygen.
EMR CD31 | BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Exquisitely rewarding... Ravishing accounts.
EMR CD029 | CHOIR AND ORGAN
This is music of great beauty and integrity and the performances fully do it justice. It would be criminal to let it pass you by.

EMR CD028 | INTERNATIONAL
RECORD REVIEW

The Bridge Quartet approach these pieces with a sympathetic and insightful warmth, and confirm their ambassadorial credentials for British chamber music. A lovely, radiant disc.
EMR CD025 | Gramophone
Duncan Honeybourne’s playing is astonishingly affectionate, yet never saccharine... Honeybourne plays with suave confidence.
EMR CD024 | INTERNATIONAL PIANO
Rupert Marshall-Luck is an ideal interpreter: generously but not effusively lyrical; agile and athletic... The warm, folk-song like slow movement is at times almost painfully beautiful, with a shimmering pastoral central section... Marshall-Luck is, again, indefatigable and keenly picks up on the work’s melancholic strain.  Finely recorded and with comprehensive booklet notes, this is a must for fans of 20th-century English repertoire.
EMR CD023 | THE STRAD