DVORAK Violin concerto, Tognetti, ACO, Halstead

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   This wonderful recording, by the Australian violinist Richard Tognetti, of the beautiful, under-rated Dvorak violin concerto of 1878-79, represents a meaningful 'musical milestone' for me, as it conjures up memories of the very last time that I was privileged to conduct the incomparable Australian Chamber Orchestra, at a concert in Brisbane, Queensland, several years ago.


  Over a period of several weeks before this concert, Richard Tognetti, the A.C.O and I performed it about a dozen times in all the major concert halls of Australia. A few days before the end of the tour, I asked its C.E.O., Timothy Walker, whether it would be possible to record the final concert.  Happily, he agreed!


  We now have a 'once in a lifetime' recording of a virtuoso violinist playing 'for all its worth' Dvorak's only violin concerto, an unaccountably neglected masterpiece.


   Several years after that Brisbane concert, Richard Tognetti made another very fine recording of the concerto, partnered not by his Australian Chamber Orchestra, but by the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christian Lindberg. I have this excellent recording in my CD library and I admire it very much.  But I don't love it!


   In our 1999 'live concert' recording, Richard really 'lets go'.

  He communicates the passionate power and soulful romance of the piece in a totally persuasive way that, in my opinion, somehow eludes him in his later studio recording, superb as it is.

 Unarguably, the quality of our Brisbane recording is elevated by the fact that his beloved 'musical family', the Australian Chamber Orchestra, is always acutely aware of his highly personal, subtle rhythmical and intonational inflections.  Dvorak's beautiful, idiomatic solos for wind instruments are superbly played, particularly by the Principal horn, Darryl Poulsen.


  I am delighted to have this lovely memento of what was, personally, a memorable musical partnership.


  The CD's very modest price of only £1.50 plus P&P reflects the fact that its playing time is just under 32 minutes; the concert's other items were not recorded.


  NB: This CD is in a  lightweight semi-flexible case rather than one of the conventional, heavier 'jewel' cases which are frequently damaged in the post.

  P & P: £2.90 UK; £5.50 all other destinations.

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DVORAK Violin concerto, Tognetti, ACO, Halstead