'Concerto for Violin' reviews

'… infused with that peculiarly English lust for the exotic but with none of the reserve that invariably inhibits it … Elgar said that Englishmen didn’t know how to rhapsodise.  He hadn’t heard of Maw.  His songs without words are like rapturous melismas in pursuit of the unattainable.  In the trio - turned - cadenza of the scherzo the soloist’s double - stopped reverie seeks to find perfect harmony in the ether.  It’s Paganini after a night in the pleasure dome, it’s Vaughan Williams’ “Lark” turned bird of paradise.  It’s a great piece.' The Independent (Edward Seckerson), 4 September 1996
 
'… a concerto of extraordinary beauty, a union of vitality and reflection … The concerto is wonderful to listen to, inspired in language and in its palette of instrumental colourings…'
Daily Telegraph (Geoffrey Norris), 23 October 1993

'… the violin is worshipped as god and dreamer in Nicholas Maw’s Violin Concerto … it breathes the air of another planet.  Melody is spun almost continuously through the four distinct movements, and a solo viola leads the violin gently in and out of the work … There are unforgettable moments, such as when a sustained string chord at the end of the Scherzo gradually hums its way upwards in pitch, into a series of sweet, consonant chords, out of which the soloist’s central song arises.'
The Times (Hilary Finch), 3 September 1996
 
'It songfulness and consummate craftsmanship have already been well noted. What emerged in this performance was its sheer profusion of ideas, it sunerring sense of instrumental balance, and the continuous thread sustaining the listener’s interest over a 40-minute span … a glorious affirmation of how to pursue Romantic tradition in contemporary form.  The scope for interpretation is wide, and it is time others took up the cause.'
Financial Times (Andrew Clark), 3 September 1996

'… the immediate impact is of a raptly lyrical, far-reaching soliloquy that holds the ear and touches it … The whole thing sings, however – sweetly, continuously, and with the subtlest nuances of feeling.  It may seem a work apart, not quite of its time; but a lot of people will come to love it, with every justification.'
Financial Times “Compact Choice” (David Murray), 2 October 1999
 

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