- The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra
- Serenade, for strings in E minor, Op. 20
- Introduction and Allegro, for string quartet & string orchestra in G major, Op. 47
- Violin Concerto in D minor ("Concerto Accademico")
Classical listeners will find most of the pieces on Tamsin Waley-Cohen's 2014 Signum Classics release quite familiar, except for the opening work, which is inexplicably and unjustly obscure. The "Violin Concerto in D minor" of Ralph Vaughan Williams, sometimes called the "Concerto Accademico," is seldom found on CD, even though its neo-Baroque style and compelling solo part are instantly appealing, making it the kind of concerto young violinists should play more often. Waley-Cohen is deeply sympathetic to the music, and she plays with an intensity that communicates directly, so the concerto doesn't come across as a dry "Back to Bach" pastiche, but resonates with Vaughan Williams' characteristic lyricism and pensiveness, in much the same manner of "The Lark Ascending," one of the composer's most beloved works. The two Elgar selections, "Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47," and the "Serenade for strings, Op. 20," have their place here, inasmuch as their melancholy tone plainly influenced Vaughan Williams, and the program is unified in its warm string sonorities and crepuscular mood. The Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by David Curtis, gives Waley-Cohen full support and plays with a vibrant tone that prevents the string tone from being too monochromatic. Lest anyone should skip ahead to hear only the last three works, the program's full impact is only felt by hearing the "Violin Concerto" first, so don't miss it.