- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
- Violin Concerto, Op. 14
- Violin Concerto
Violinist James Ehnes unites with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bramwell Tovey for this noteworthy collection of concertos by Korngold, Barber, and Walton. Ehnes' sound seems to be especially well suited for these three works, each demanding rich, fluid tone; stellar technique; and exceptional sensitivity and musicality. Aficionados of classic movies may recognize portions of the Korngold concerto as the composer lifted several of the melodies from his favorite film scores. There are parts of the concerto that still sound as if it was created for the screen instead of the concert hall, especially the orchestral tuttis. It is nonetheless an entertaining work and Ehnes' interpretation is both engaging and solicitous. The Barber concerto is filled with lush, lugubrious playing. The second movement especially, with its extensive passages on the G and D strings, puts the listener awash in the violin's sound. The third movement, while well executed, is a bit on the slow side until the final push to the end. Like Korngold, Walton is another composer leading somewhat of a double life between film composition and music specifically for the concert hall, but Walton does not reuse materials from his film scores. Unlike the Barber, Walton's Presto movement is quite energetic and almost diabolical -- a very satisfying performance. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra also deserves kudos for this recording. The accompanying sound is quite sensitive to the needs of the soloist; orchestral tuttis are rich, powerful, and consummate.