Album: Szymanowski, Violin Concerto No 1/Symphony No 3, Deutsche Grammophon

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The Independent Culture

Conductor Pierre Boulez brings welcome astringency to Szymanowski’s colour-burst orchestration in this live recording of the composer’s first Violin Concerto.

Soloist Christian Tetzlaff’s super-sweet concentrate is at its most intense, hugging the mournful melodic contours, while the Wiener Philharmoniker support with lush brilliance. A little Dionysiac ravishment goes a long way, however, and the pairing with Symphony No 3 “Song of the Night” (with Steve Davislim as the tenor soloist) is too calorific for a single sitting.