International Record Review: outstanding.
When Dvorák in 1879 began to compose his Violin Concerto, he followed the pattern set by Brahms by dedicating the work to the great violinist Joseph Joachim, and sending it to the dedicatee for advice. He may have regretted this afterwards, as Joachim in return let him have a set of suggestions which caused Dvorák to rewrite the work completely. He then had to wait two long years before receiving the verdict on the new version: in Joachim's opinion, the concerto was still not ready. In 1882, after going through the score once more with the violinist, Dvorák made further revisions, but when his publisher also asked for changes to be done, the composer refused. The crowning irony was that when the work was finally performed, the solo part wasn't played by Joachim, after all. While waiting to finalize the concerto Dvorák did not remain idle, however. One of the works he composed in the meantime was Legends, a cycle of ten pieces for two pianos, which he shortly afterwards orchestrated. The result charmed the audiences as well other musicians, for instance Brahms, who wrote: 'one envies the fresh, cheerful and rich resourcefulness of the man.' Performing these two works are the acclaimed Australian violinist Richard Tognetti, as soloist in the concerto, and the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christian Lindberg. The same players have teamed up before on disc, namely on Nordic Showcase, an anthology of works for chamber orchestra. In the reviews of that disc, Tognetti's performance was described by the reviewer in International Record Review as 'music-making at a truly exalted level . the most enraptured and heartfelt rendering of the inexplicably neglected Svendsen Romance that I have ever heard.' The orchestra and its conductor received equally lavish praise, for instance in American Record Guide: 'a very well chosen smorgasbord of Nordic music, a cunning mixture of the known and the truly novel . played with the utmost feeling and with gem-like purity of tone.'
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