Concerto for Orchestra
Olivier Charlier (violin)
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gerard Schurmann
CD No: CHANDOS CHAN 9915 Duration: Reviewed: March 2002
Schurmann on Chandos
Reviewed by Colin Anderson
Gerard Schurmann was born in Java to Dutch parents in 1924. His music combines colour, rhythm and long melodies in thoughtfully constructed, brilliantly scored expanses that brim with emotion.
The Violin Concerto dates from the seventies. Written for Ruggiero Ricci, the violins lyrical abilities are highlighted, its sinewy expression integrated into the orchestras varied palette. Two large movements give the soloist plenty of display, superbly taken by Charlier. The concluding Theme and Variations reminds initially of Bartok and then the sensuousness of Walton. Each variation is part of a cumulative and knot-tying groundplan. An absorbing and satisfying work.
Lorin Maazel commissioned the Concerto for Orchestra for the Pittsburgh SO (although the premiere was conducted by Edo de Waart). More overtly American in its harmonies, the Concerto for Orchestra explodes into life. Its five movements are well contrasted active, nocturnal, reminiscing and decisive. The melodic generosity of Aubade is a particular highlight. With authoritative performances under the composers direction and excellent sound doing full justice to Schurmanns variegated and virtuoso orchestration, this CD of two vibrant scores is heartily recommended.