Golden Dvořák concertos

Dvořák’s violin and piano concertos may not be among most sublime creations, but played like this they come surging off the page

Composer: Dvořák
Repertoire: Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto 
Artists: Rustem Hayroudinoff (piano); James Ehnes (violin); BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda
Rating:  5/5 
Genre: Orchestral 
Label: Chandos CHAN 10309

Rustem Hayroudinoff sounds as though he believes in every note of the Piano Concerto, making even the most commonplace of phrases sound utterly magical. Dvořák was by no means an expert pianist, as is reflected in page after page of awkward, unidiomatic writing, yet Hayroudinoff somehow clarifies and illuminates even the most densely-textured terrain, making it glisten and radiate emotional warmth. Even Richter’s celebrated EMI recording must cede to this outstanding newcomer. 

Joseph Ehnes’s golden-toned, impassioned brilliance proves every bit as effective in the Violin Concerto. Dvořák was an expert violist, yet in allowing the celebrated virtuoso Joseph Joachim to shape the detail of the solo line, he was saddled with German ruggedness when a little more sleight-of-hand wizardry would have made all the difference. This is where Ehnes really comes into his own, deftly inflecting the music with a virtuoso confidence and sheer panache that recalls Itzhak Perlman in his prime. The BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda join in all the fun with infectious skill and alacrity, and there’s an exemplary booklet note from Calum MacDonald.