Concerto in D minor for two violins, BWV1043 *
Violin Concerto in D minor
Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin)
New European Strings Chamber Orchestra
Recorded October 2002 in Henry Wood Hall, London
Reviewed by: Colin Anderson
Reviewed: July 2004
CD No: EMI ANGEL 5574402
Duration: 75 minutes
A deeply impressive showing by Alexander Sitkovetsky, just 19 when this recording was made, whose maturity and searching is a blessing in one so young and whose communication is innate. This CD suggests that Sitkovetsky is touched by greatness.
Under his father’s direction the orchestra provides wholesome, agile and sensitive support. The well-balanced recording presents Henry Wood Hall as a little more recessive and reverberant than is actually the case, although the sound itself is excellent. This recital – four very different works for violin and string orchestra – is sustained by Alexander Sitkovetsky’s easeful penetration into the composers’ respective sensibilities and characteristics, and culminates in a springy and affecting Bach ‘Double’ of which father, son and friends have set down a refreshingly straightforward and stylistically unencumbered reading of this desert-island piece, with the central Largo deeply affecting in its simplicity.
Mendelssohn’s lesser-known D minor concerto is most persuasively brought to life; Alexander’s mellifluous playing is a constant delight in its unforced expression and gentle colours. Andrzej Panufnik’s concerto was written for Yehudi Menuhin and first heard in 1972. Continuing the line, Alexander Sitkovetsky, invited to study at the Menuhin School when he was eight years old, sculpts Panufnik’s singing and dancing lines with an openness that raises, in my experience, the stature of this work. Panufnik’s economy and concision speaks volumes, and the central Adagio is immeasurably heartfelt. Toru Takemitsu’s Nostalghia is similarly profiled, and says something for the impressive influencing of which Alexander Sitkovetsky is capable.