JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Violin Concerto No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 161 (original version), Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 181, La fée d'amour for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 67.

Catalogue Number: 05J044

Label: Sterling

Reference: CDS 1075-2

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The first violin concerto, which received its world premiere recording back in 2000 on the Tudor label, is, if you look closely, "freely arranged by August Wilhelmj", the violinist for whom it was written in 1870. Wilhelmj not only hacked 50 bars total out of the score but also reorchestrated it throughout, turning entire passages throughout into showy, outrageous patches of pure virtuosity (for example, turning the ending of the first movement into fire and brimstone where Raff had the movement end quietly and segué right into the slow movement). The only manuscript of Raff's original orchestration was acquired in 1930 by the Eastman School of Music from a Berlin antiquarian (and may have saved it from destruction in World War II) and this is its world premiere recording. La fée (1854) is a charming "morceau caractéristique de concert" of 18 minutes and the suite (1873) a five-movement piece of equal length to the concerto which is in the genre we today would call neo-baroque but with all the trappings of the Romantic concerto - a preludio, minuetto, corrente, aria and moto perpetuo finale, also a world premiere. Tobias Ringborg (violin), Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera; Andrea Quinn.

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