Englund: Violin Concerto; Klami: Violin Concerto

Reviewed on Tue 21 Feb, 2017

Einar Englund's Violin Concerto (1981) sweeps in romantically and is lyrical in nature, music that speaks directly in an emotional and musically integrated manner.

Both violin concertos play for 28 minutes, and – following fellow-Finn Sibelius’s example – they are real discoveries. That by Einar Englund (1981) sweeps in romantically and is lyrical in nature, music that speaks directly in an emotional and musically integrated manner; English ears may be deceived into thinking it is by a native composer from the earlier part of the last century. There are some lovely things, not least a soulfulness that goes beyond words – the slow movement is reminiscent of Shostakovich – and the finale is sustained in its vigour. The concerto (1943/54) by Uuno Klami is also in three movements, not so much revised as re-written when the original score became lost. Prokofiev may come to mind in the resolute if troubled opening pages, soon followed by radiant contemplation; such juxtapositions are typical and compelling. Much excellence from Benjamin Schmid, accompanied alertly in Oulu, and the recording is naturally balanced.
–Colin Anderson