Britten & Elgar: Sea Interludes, Violin Concerto
Label: Linn Records
Format: COMPACT DISC
Barenboim, Michael; Crudele, Alessandro; Philharmonia Orchestra
After an acclaimed Respighi recording, Alessandro Crudele makes his second appearance on Linn, this time teaming up with violinist Michael Barenboim who makes his Linn debut, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The programme offers a glimpse of two contrasting, yet defining figures of British music. Depicting an outsider within an isolated community – very much reflecting Britten’s situation at the time of its composition – Peter Grimes remains his most performed opera. Following its success, Britten extracted four ‘interludes’: brilliantly orchestrated portraits of the North Sea, performed here with Crudele’s distinctive mastery of orchestral colours. The self-taught Elgar was somewhat reluctant to compose a concerto for violin, but after meeting the great Fritz Kreisler he came to create ‘an immortal work’, the Austrian violinist’s own words. Benefiting from recent live performances, the execution brings all the facets of the work to light and successfully blends the solo part with the orchestral accompaniment in a show of perfect symbiosis.