"The violin had got me completely under its spell; for ten years it was my greatest wish to become a great violin virtuoso ," confessed Finlands national composer Jean Sibelius in later years. Although he began a career as a violin virtuoso too late, as a composer he profited enormously from his intimate knowledge of the instrument and the possibilities it offered. This is particularly apparent in his Violin Concerto with its wonderful synthesis of virtuosic expression and technical bravura, its classical symphonic form, its outward effects and inner substance.
This late-Romantic, brilliantly coloured work is certainly one of the most rewarding for every soloist. A specialist in the field of 19th-century bravura pieces and master of an effortless technique and suppleness, the great American violinist Ruggiero Ricci certainly possessed all the requirements for a brilliant performance of this concerto.
And Øivin Fjeldstad is the perfect partner for Ricci in more ways than one in this wonderfully lively recording: thanks to his training as both a conductor and a violinist, he ensures a perfect balance between soloist and orchestra; and as a Norwegian he is, of course, completely au fait with Scandinavian repertoire, and guarantees both here and in other recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra a truly nordic touch.
The extrovert fancies of virtuosity are rare in any work by Sibelius, and this concerto, opus 47, must be grouped with the symphonies according to its characterisitic freedom of form. Hence one feels that it was his great affection for the instrument that prompted this last work in which he bothered to contrive effective display. From this time forward (1904) Sibelius consolidated his reputation as a towering symphonist.
180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
High Quality Pressing
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering
Ruggiero Ricci, violin
Øivin Fjeldstad, conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
1. Sibelius (Violin Concerto in D minor)
2. Tchaikovsky (Serenade Melancolique)