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heat up, cool down

This is the time of year where a curious shift happens: the classical music season heats up, while the weather outside cools down.  This post in just going to be a hodge-podge of random thoughts, truly full of daily observations, rather than what is usually posted here (not sure what that means, anyway).  So, let’s get to it, shall we?

I’ve been noticing that the Violin Concerto of Benjamin Britten has been getting really popular with the new generation of soloists this season.  We’re presenting the work in the capable hands of Finnish violinist Elina Vahala on our last classical concert of the season (as an Oregon Symphony premiere) along with Mahler’s “Titan” Symphony No. 1.  A couple of very good recordings have come out over the last few months as well.  Here’s a listing of what I’ve discovered thus far:

  • Daniel Hope, violin; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Watkins – Britten & Berg Violin Concertos (Warner Classics)
  • Janine Jansen, violin; Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/P. Jaarvi – Beethoven & Britten Violin Concertos (Decca)
  • Lorraine McAslan, violin; English Chamber Orchestra/Bedford – Britten Violin Concerto (Naxos)
  • Maxim Vengerov, violin; London Symphony Orchestra/Rostropovich – Britten & Walton Violin Concertos (EMI Classics)
  • Rebecca Hirsch, violin; Tim Hugh, cello; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra -Britten Violin Concerto/Cello Symphony (Naxos)

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By Charles Noble

I'm the Assistant principal violist of the Oregon Symphony.

2 replies on “heat up, cool down”

Charles, thanks for the list of recordings. I would add the version I own, which is conducted by Britten himself and also has the English Chamber Orchestra and a violinist named Mark Lubotsky (London). I believe that this is an excellent recording and it is well regarded by critics. I am so glad we will get to hear this wonderful work this season. This is an example of why I like Carlos as concert programmer.

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