Beethoven: Violin Concerto CD review – Ehnes is eloquent and understated – The Guardian

James Ehnes here for the first time on disc takes on the warhorse that is the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and the result is more than worth the wait: the Canadian violinist does an uncommonly good job of giving this colossal and not unrepetitive masterpiece shape, taking the long view of every phrase, and making the music speak in whole paragraphs. His playing may be understated, but it is as secure and eloquent in the tricksy Kreisler cadenzas as it is in the unadorned melodies of the slow movement, and every note has something to sing about. Baroque-violinist-turned-conductor Andrew Manze draws out a fine Beethoven sound from the modern instruments of the Royal Liverpool Phil, strong yet transparent, and they play their socks off in support. The other three works on the disc – two Beethoven Romances plus Schubert’s Rondo – can’t help seeming slender next to the mighty concerto, but are equally well done here, by Ehnes and the orchestra alike.

Watch James Ehnes play Beethoven: Romance No 1


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