CD: Sibelius & Lindberg: Violin Concertos

(Sony Classical)

Two months ago at the Barbican in London, Lisa Batiashvili was the soloist in the UK premiere of the violin concerto that Magnus Lindberg completed for her last year. It seemed, then, to be a major addition to the concerto repertory, the best new work for violin and orchestra to emerge in many years, and that impression is reinforced by Batiashivili's recording with Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Orchestra. Pairing it with the Sibelius concerto makes total sense, for Lindberg's work is permeated with glancing references to his compatriot's work, not in a reverential or derivative way, but simply as a nicely judged act of homage. What is most striking about Lindberg's concerto is the way in which its thematic and harmonic materials are so compellingly integrated so that every gesture and harmonic shift seems totally organic and logical, and how he generates textures of such tonal richness and complexity from an orchestra of barely Mozartean size. Batiashvili is proving to be its perfect champion, passionate, intense and commanding, and her account of the Sibelius concerto, too, is


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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