Related Reviews
Classic FM Magazine
4 Stars
"...strong and classy solo playing."
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BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
"...the Five Melodies is the real reason for enthusiasts to search out this disc."
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ClassicsToday.com
5 Stars
"...this is exceptional by any standard."
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Atlanta Audio Society
"Here is some of the most achingly beautiful music ever penned for violin and orchestra, and Swensen and his cohorts have the full measure of it."
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International Record Review
"I have never heard the Classical Symphony quite like this before. The textures are as impeccably realized...This is worth investigating."
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Inverness Courier
"....a sparkling account...Linn's recording brings out the beauty of the music and the vitality of its interpreters."
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The Scotsman
5 Stars
"...a blisteringly clear and effervescent performance."
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Prokofiev Violin Concerto - The Dominion Post


04 July 2005
The Dominion Post
John Button

Sergei Prokofiev has always been a popular composer. His works can be guaranteed to fill concert halls with their mix of a highly distinctive melodic caste, and a feel for drama that is, at times, positively cinematic. Indeed, his film scores - Lieutenant Kije, Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible have been turned into very popular concert scores, and his distinctive orchestrations, with their ever-present low percussion, are symphony orchestra spectaculars. This disc features the ever-popular Classical Symphony and the intensely lyrical Second Violin Concerto composed just before Prokofiev returned to Russia from self-imposed exile in Paris in 1935. The disc is filled out by Joseph Swensen's very effective arrangement of the Five Melodies for violin and piano that Prokofiev composed during an American tour in 1923. Swensen is the principal conductor of the highly accomplished Scottish Chamber Orchestra but as this disc shows in sensational fashion, this Norwegian Japanese musician is also a violinist of the very front rank. His performance of the beautiful Second Violin Concerto is marvellously intense, with the long-spun melody of the slow movement memorable in its ecstatic way. The Five Melodies, with some very effective scoring for strings, are also beautifully played by Swensen and the Classical Symphony is light and buoyant and played with great polish. The disc is a little short on playing time, but so good are the performances and so vivid the recording it is a potent recommendation.


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Related Links

Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Prokofiev: Violin ConcertoProkofiev: Violin Concerto