PETER RACINE FRICKER (1920-1990): Violin Concerto, Op. 11, DON BANKS (1923-1980): Violin Concerto (Yfrah Neaman [violin], Royal Philharmonic Orchsetra; Norman Del Mar), DAVID MORGAN (1933-1988): Violin Concerto (Erich Gruenberg [violin], RPO; Vernon Handley).
Catalogue Number: 07K011
Description: The Fricker is civilized, economical and exquisitely crafted, and thus typical of his output. Highly chromatic but less overtly atonal than a number of his works, the concerto begins in a manner very reminiscent of the Sibelius concerto and proceeds through a lively and dramatic first movement, a lyrical, wistful slow movement and a spirited, rather acerbic finale. Morgan frames a vigorous moto perpetuo scherzo with a large-scale, emotionally varied first movement and a finale which, after a slow solo recitative introduction which recalls the work's opening, launches into a discursive and impassioned sonata form. The work, described by the composer as 'autobiographical' in some sense, and written at the height of the cold war, the piece has a clear theme of the oppression of the individual by the state machine, with strong contrasts between military music in the orchestra and free lyricism in the solo part. Unlike the Fricker (chromatic-atonal[ish] and the Morgan (very tonal), the Banks explores elements of serial techniques and is the most 'modern' work here. Highly inventive orchestral writing recalls the composer's work for film, and the virtuosi and challenging solo part - almost an accompanied cadenza for the entire first movement - testifies to his thorough absorption of a wide range of instrumental possibilities. Throughout the piece presents a cogent narrative of the changing relationship between the 'characters' of violin and orchestra. Original 1974 and 1978 LP releases.