The Bruch is of course the First of his three Violin Concertos – we also get the composer’s In Memoriam – but the Britten comes first, a novel coupling and an excellent performance of pre-WWII music (completed in 1939, its premiere in New York March 1940, Antonio Brosa with Barbirolli conducting) that is prophetic and tense, and receives a perceptive reading from Kerson Leong, his virtuosity all-encompassing and serving a gripping rendition that gets inside the profound contemplation and ‘warnings’ within the music, Leong expressive and intense, at no point the empty peddler of meaningless note-spinning, and also benefitting from a close collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Patrick Hahn, they also recognising that this is music of its time, and beyond it; a Concerto, yes, but one with a message here searing into our consciousness. The funereal timpani taps that open In Memoriam are apt following the uncertain close of the Britten, Leong bringing deep feeling and rich tone to a further example of overlooked Bruch, as he does to the ubiquitous G-minor Concerto, given with freshness, poise and affection, and all handsomely engineered by Mike Hatch at Fairfield Halls Croydon, January 2022. Alpha 946.