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All three of the works here are world premiere recordings. The concerto by Aaron Jay Kernis is heard in an incredibly powerful live performance, the taxing violin part superbly executed. The Chaconne begins with an unashamedly romantic gesture, going on to embrace a wide range of emotions including some real Innigkeit. Premiered by these forces in Seattle in March 2017, the piece includes an intensely lyrical Ballad and a hugely virtuoso finale (‘Toccatini’). Both performance and recording are beyond criticism.

James Newton Howard is best known as a writer of music for film. His concerto is lyrical; there is almost an English twinge to the first movement. The Andante semplice is the work’s emotional heart (the film origins clear) while the finale confirms Ehnes’ virtuosity. Finally, Bramwell Tovey’s brief Stream of Limelight, the only non-orchestral piece, an engaging soliloquy in the spotlight. Top-rank recording throughout.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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