Nicola Benedetti – Elgar (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 58:45 minutes | 1,09 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Decca Music Group Ltd.
This is a big outing for violinist Nicola Benedetti: the Elgar Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61, is a difficult work both technically and interpretively, and although it has been popular on recordings since the first one appeared in 1929, it is not exactly a crowd-pleaser; Benedetti scores here with a reading that steers a middle path between some well-established approaches. The Elgar concerto has an unusually wide range of interpretations of the tempo markings, with total timings clocking in at anywhere from 42 minutes (Jascha Heifetz) to 54 minutes (Nigel Kennedy, in one of the favored recordings of the last two decades of the 20th century). Benedetti comes in just shy of 47 minutes, and she catches the liquid speed of Heifetz while leaving room for the “awfully emotional, too emotional” quality Elgar himself described of the work. Her entrance in the first movement doesn’t have quite the magnetic lyricism of Menuhin’s, but her turns through the music’s double stops and general veering quality generate quite a bit of momentum in both the first movement and the finale, interrupted quite effectively by a very free third-movement cadenza. For those wanting to hear Benedetti show what she can do in a more sentimental mood, the curtain is rung down by a trio of short violin-and-piano pieces, with Petr Limonov providing sensitive, quiet accompaniment. A fine Elgar concerto that can stand comparison with the other big ones on the market.
SIR Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934): Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61:
1 SIR Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61: I. Allegro
2 SIR Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61: II. Andante
3 SIR Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61: III. Allegro molto
SIR Edward Elgar:
4 Sospiri, Op. 70 (Arr. Violin and Piano)
5 Salut d’amour, Op. 12
6 Chanson de nuit, Op. 15, No. 1