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The synergy between violinist and conductor is palpable

MusicWeb International, Stephen Greenbank

This is a perfect marriage between soloist, conductor and orchestra.

This recording has been issued under the auspices of the Sibelius Society UK in association with BBC Radio 3 and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The executive producer is Edward Clarke, president of the Society. All of the works feature the violin, and the recording enlists the services of British violinist Fenella Humphreys, winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine instrumental Award and a champion of new and unknown music.

Although the performance of the Violin Concerto enters a crowded playing field, Humphreys’ reading stands up well, evoking both Nordic chill and magnificent landscapes … There’s an ideal sound balance struck between orchestra and soloist.

Vass contributes inspirational and atmospheric support throughout.

Despite the fact that the two groups of Humoresques were published separately as Op. 87 and Op. 89, it was the composer’s wish that they be performed together. They’re magical works and, if you’ve not heard them, you’ll quickly fall under their spell. Quite why they’ve been neglected in the the concert hall and the recording studio baffles me. Each is a masterful and whimsical invention …

Credited with a completion of Bruckner’s Ninth, American musicologist and composer Nors S. Josephson’s Celestial Voyage comfortably complements the Sibelius selection. Josephson packs much into this nine minute work. The tenor of the music is gentle, warm, intimate and comforting. Lyrical and melodically generous, the violin soars and is wafted along in the breeze. Humphreys caresses the lines with ardent fervour.

Vass is fully supportive, and achieves some magical moments pointing up the woodwind lines.

These are thrilling performances in demonstration sound quality.

The synergy between violinist and conductor is palpable, and the orchestral playing is of the highest order.

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