At the start of his Violin Concerto (1897) Ferruccio Busoni knows just how to beguile listeners – with an entrancing pastoral idea given to woodwinds that heralds a compact opus in three continuous movements full of likeable invention and a variety of characterisation, from eloquent to scintillating. At just over twenty minutes it’s of a length similar to Glazunov’s equally wonderful Violin Concerto, and, sadly, also something of a ‘Cinderella’ piece, an unfortunate state of affairs that hopefully this version by Francesca Dego, a few tonal issues aside, will go some way to reversing, especially as Dalia Stasevska and the BBCSO offer much detail and vibrancy. As they do during the Brahms, although Dego’s somewhat drained timbre can be a misgiving, counteracted by a lively and flexible first movement that is without exaggeration and signposting if peppered with gutsy attack and fine orchestral support. Best is the oboe-led Adagio, deeply felt, and if the Finale is fleet and fiery, it can also be breathless. Given the coupling, the cadenza for Brahms’s first movement is (as hoped) Busoni’s well-made if rare example with omnipresent timpani; and it proves a good fit with the current rendition overall of the Brahms, somewhat unvarnished from Dego, warmly communicative from the Orchestra, equably balanced by sound engineer Ralph Couzens to complement Brian Pidgeon’s scrupulous production values. Chandos CHSA 5333 [SACD].

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%205333