Explicitly recorded by Stephen Rinker, with bags of detail, convincingly edgy, the Violin Concerto is given a reading that finds James Ehnes and Sir Andrew Davis possibly somewhat at odds as to the music’s provenance – the conductor favouring crisp and elegant Baroque or Classical, the violinist sometimes leaning to the Romantic, the latter quality prevalent in the middle ‘Aria’ movements. The outer ones are well-judged regarding tempo, allowing dancing rhythms. Reservations have become fewer during several listens, the Concerto is followed by an exuberant account of the jazzy Scherzo à la russe and nicely characterised outings of the delightful miniatures to be found in the brace of Suites, eight movements in total, with only the ‘Galop’ that ends No.2 being doubtful, rather sluggish. Apollon musagète (1928, revised 1947) is perhaps a little too objectively rendered for a score that anyway keeps a certain emotional reserve and despite some beautiful string-playing from the BBC Philharmonic and, her alone, leader Zoë Beyers’s charismatic contributions. As good as it is, Sir Andrew doesn’t quite compete with, say, Ansermet, Dorati, Marriner – all Decca – or Mravinsky (a Melodiya LP from which I discovered this cool yet voluptuous ballet score). If not as wholly inspired as Davis’s previous Stravinsky release, this successor, produced by Mike George, is certainly recommended. Chandos CHSA 5340 [SACD] is released on January 5.

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%205340