Bruch's other works fail to inspire

Max Bruch's lesser known works fail to fire up conductor Thomas Rösner and his Orchestre Symphonique Bienne

Composer: Bruch
Repertoire: Kol Nidrei; Romance; Serenade on Swedish Folk Melodies, et al.
Artists:  Alexandre da Costa (vln), Gilad Karni (vla), Orchestre Symphonique Bienne/Rösner
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Guild GMCD 7338

Is there much more to Max Bruch’s music than his deservedly much-loved Violin Concerto No.1? Only up to a point, on this evidence at least. Kol Nidrei, here recorded for the first time in its solo violin (rather than cello) version, is a soulful, tuneful and attractive work, much more strongly characterised than the rather anonymous Romance (viola and orchestra), Serenade (for strings), or early opera overture. Alexandre da Costa is a lustrous and engaging soloist; the Swiss orchestra, while always efficient, tends to sound less than inspired by what they’re playing – it’s hard to blame them.