It perhaps goes without saying that the Bruch is his First Violin Concerto, the Second and Third once again losing out; still, Heifetz and Menuhin (the latter with Boult) recorded No.2, and Bruch’s complete violin-and-orchestra catalogue is in the safe hands of Accardo/Masur (Philips/Decca) and Liebeck/Brabbins (Hyperion). Esther Yoo’s account of No.1 is good, she’s a fine violinist, bringing passion, feistiness and tenderness to the solo part. But, as recorded, there is precious little quiet playing, a consequence of her being balanced too forwardly, larger than life, and while the Royal Philharmonic is a vivid partner, it is also rendered as fierce in tuttis, whether in the Watford Colosseum or Henry Wood Hall, both venues used in November 2021 but not specified. Bruch’s Adagio appassionato is also included and rather lovely – although Yoo’s hard-edged first entry is stinging; contemplative mood broken. Samuel Barber’s Concerto is also brightly reproduced, if a likeable performance that is heart-on-sleeve while avoiding false sentiment. There’s an eloquent oboe solo to open the second movement, and the rapid Finale is poised although Yoo’s pole-position doesn’t always do any favours to orchestral detail. The final track is Vieuxtemps’s Yankee Doodle (Souvenir d’Amérique); great fun. Deutsche Grammophon Korea 40303.
Esther Yoo records Violin Concertos by Bruch and Barber with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Vasily Petrenko for Deutsche Grammophon Korea.
Feb 16, 2023 | Recording Reviews | 0 comments