Classica Magazine - France - March 2015
The misfortune of Bruch, is to have composed a particularly successful first violin concerto, receiving to a universal renown, and which caused a terrible disservice to the two following. The third, in 1890, is a world away. Firstly in its dimensions, at more than 38 minutes, it moves closer to the Brahms concerto, but over-all by the content. Here, Bruch sees all in large scale, not without a certain solemnity but with still a lot of lyricism and, if we listen to the details, a well full of delicacy. Although little played, this Concerto has been recorded quite often, and there are several versions of great quality: Accardo/Masur (Philips), Hanslip/Brabbins (Warner), Ehnes/Dutoit (CBC Records), Mordkovitch/Hickox (Chandos). Dedicated to Sarasate, as of Lalo's Symphonie espagnole, the Scottish Fantasy, ten years earlier, is much more well-known. It is an attractive free-form structure, but a composition as serious as the concertos, which has attracted more attempts from the great tenors of the violin (if I dare say), Heifetz, Oistrakh, Grumiaux and Perlman. As so often in these collections devoted by Hyperion to romantic concertos, the soloist is little known in France. Jack Liebeck, professor at the Royal Academy of Music, is an interpreter of a high quality, more anxious to bring to light the niceties of the writing of Bruch, in a very subtle dialog with the orchestra than to make effects with expression and brio. He sees that behind the forms and academia of the concerto and the traits of virtuosity expected, there is a nice dialog concealed between the soloist and the orchestra. Martyn Brabbins is very attentive to the quality of this dialog, and also knows, in the tuttis, to release the grip on an orchestra overcome with lyricism.