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Cat. No. CHAN 10380 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10380 - Bliss: A Colour Symphony/ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
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Available From: 01 September 2006
In this new recording of Bliss’s Violin Concerto, Lydia Mordkovitch, famous for her readings of British music, offers her own personal interpretation of the part made famous by Alfredo Campoli, for whom the work was commissioned. Mordkovitch wonderfully conveys the romance and beauty of this concerto, as well as the fiery nature of the gypsy theme prominent in the finale. This is the only available recording of the Violin Concerto, uniquely coupling with A Colour Symphony.

A Colour Symphony illustrates four heraldic colours by means of striking ideas and original orchestral effects. Hickox and the BBC NOW provide a refined and idiomatic reading, confirming this as one of Bliss’s most inventive, striking scores, neglected in recent years.
Reviews

Lydia Mordkovitch …responds with unflagging conviction and her customary no-holds-barred passion receives alert, warm-hearted support… an attractive and valuable coupling.
Gramophone

The orchestra provides characterful emphatic support… the recording captures everything with great vividness and warmth.
‘Classical CD of the Week’ in The Daily Telegraph on Elgar Symphony No.2

I won’t spoil any surprises here, suffice to say that Richard Hickox conducts a stunning performance of this still hugely underrated score, captured in resplendent, luxurious, yet detailed, sound by Brian and Ralph Couzens. Lydia Mordkovitch also makes a superb case for the Violin Concerto, reminding us that its true heritage life not with the English pastoral tradition, but with the Russian Prokofiev.
Classic FM Magazine

The orchestra provides characterful emphatic support… the recording captures everything with great vividness and warmth.
‘Classical CD of the Week’ in The Daily Telegraph on Elgar Symphony No.2

Lydia Mordkovitch is a superb violinist…
American Record Guide on Stanford Violin Concerto

Bliss’s A Colour Symphony needs a full Technicolour acoustic to do justice to its heraldic splendour. The Chandos sound certainly gives us that. Hickox, on superior form, adds his own bite with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales: it’s a sterling interpretation of a key British work. The violin concerto from the 1950s presents the later, less combative Bliss. Lydia Mordkovitch offers a fiery almost gypsy, interpretation; very fetching, and not at all wrong. A rewarding release.
The Times

Bliss’s Violin Concerto dates from more than 30 years later, but the idiom is just as personable and approachable, its emotional range wide and its ideas potent. The ardour and tonal lustre of Lydia Mordkovitch’s playing of the solo part – along with the orchestra’s suave rhythmically crisp accompaniment – make a case for it occupying a place in the repertoire among such other late-romantic string concertos as those by Walton, Prokofiev and Korngold.
The Telegraph

Lydia Mordkovitch is a superb violinist…
American Record Guide on Stanford Violin Concerto

So Lydia Mordkovich’s new performance is more than doubly welcome. It has all the virtues you would expect from this source: a strong and forthright interpretation of the solo part, and expertly judged accompaniment from Richard Hickox and his Welsh forces, and a sound quality superior in every respect… Hickox, though, yields to nobody in his commitment to this piece [A Colour Symphony]: significantly, he chose it for his final Prom at the head of this same orchestra. The driving rhythms and energy of the Scherzo in particular makes a terrific impact. Hickox’s energy and drive as well as sensitivity, as captured here, makes this another Chandos winner.
International Record Review

It’s well worth hearing [the Violin Concerto], at least once in a while – and Lydia Mordkovitch, a violinist rarely accused of indifference, throws it at us with undeniable conviction…but she’s so courageous as she slashes her way through the thorniest moments, so luminous in the more lyrical moments (say, the opening of the Finale), and so technically assured that you hardly mind the overkill. Hickox supports her well, especially in those soaring passages that may remind you of Korngold’s heady scores for Errol Flynn swashbucklers.
Fanfare

But I feel that Hickox just comes out in front, projecting Bliss’s invention in full splendour. Chandos’s recording efficiently disentangles and differentiates the various lines in the sometimes congested tutti’s, confirming the composer’s contrapuntal powers.
BBC Music Magazine

 

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