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Album review: Benjamin Britten, Violin Concerto, Jan Latham-Koenig Orchid


Britten’s sole violin concerto is constructed from simple scales rising and falling expressively over exotic Spanish rhythms, but within this framework, from the opening silken thread to passages of great passion and profundity, the concerto unfolds into a piece of great magnitude.

There are echoes of Berg’s harrowing concerto, and Matthew Trusler, soloist with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, considers it among both the greatest and the hardest of pieces. Written in 1939, at a time when many of Britten’s fellow artists were in great danger, its fragile ending leads seamlessly into the shimmering and stormy Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, conducted by Latham-Koenig. A moving and dramatic Britten centenary offering.