Hyperion’s Romantic Violin Concerto series returns with three real rarities, rescuing them from their current neglect. All receive the strongest advocacy from Linus Roth, who plays them like the repertoire standards they may one day become.
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EDUARD LASSEN (1830–1904) Violin Concerto in D major Op 87
1. Allegro moderato
2. Andante cantabile
3. Allegro risoluto e capriccioso
LUDWIG PHILIPP SCHARWENKA (1847–1917) Violin Concerto in G major Op 95
"Hyperion’s Romantic Violin Concertos series has reached Volume 22, a respectable number, even if it pales alongside the 78 of the Romantic Piano Concertos. This latest CD presents two large works, and one shorter piece, by two Danes and a Pole. Eduard Lassen, from Copenhagen, was writing in the latter half of the 19th Century, and his musical language has something of the pastoral tone of Dvořák. His Concerto, from 1888, is a fairly expansive work of great charm, and an almost operatic melodiousness. Not wishing to disappoint, but the second composer, Scharwenka, is not the great pianist and composer Xaver, but his older brother Ludwig Philipp. Written in 1894, the Scharwenka Violin Concerto is a big, bold and distinctive work. Completing the program is an intrinsically more interesting piece, the tiny Violin Concerto of the notable Danish rebel Rued Langgaard, whose works include the bizarre opera Antikrist, and the Ligeti-foreseeing Music of the Spheres. Like some of his Symphonies, Langgaard crafts his Concerto as a condensed single-movement utterance that lasts under ten minutes; it is not one of his ‘adventurous’ works, and adopts a traditional romantic musical language (although he cannot resist the temptation to be add a prominent piano part). These three works admittedly do not add anything distinctively new to our musical understanding, but they engage us with their charm and musicality." - Chris Dench