To accompany Brahms’ lyricism, brought to incandescence by the bow of Gil Shaham, what better than razor-sharp acoustic precision and refinement with Webern, and expressive elegance and range with Lutosławski?
Dedicated to Schoenberg, Webern’s Six Pieces, with their sense of ellipsis, magnetic melodies, and pointillist precision, are an authentic invitation to listening. With its Bartokian title, Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra transfigures its folk inspirations through three movements, the last of which, ‘Passacaglia, Toccata, Chorale and Finale’, stands out as an extraordinary compositional feat.
Initially poorly received when it premiered in 1879, Brahms’ masterful Violin Concerto demands implacable virtuosity. Its classical lyricism is accented with gypsy influences in the first and last movements, and the Adagio, imbued with dreamy effusion, is a dialogue between winds and solo violin—opening with a beautiful oboe solo.