Nicola Benedetti



THERE has been much less record company fanfare about the release of Nicola Benedetti's eighth album, a pairing of two twentieth century Russian violin concertos with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits, than some of her earlier collections of Italian music or scores for the silver screen, but it may be her most important release yet. Every note Dmitri Shostakovich wrote comes freighted with the baggage of the 20th century, and the long-suppressed First Violin Concerto is no exception, and from its mysterious beginning to its Burlesque finale, Benedetti gets to the core of the music, with Karabits and the orchestra in eloquent support every step of the way. Its five movement 50 minutes are probably the best work she has done in the studio so far and will become a favoured recording of the piece for many.

If the Glazunov concerto, from before the Russian Revolution and less than half the length, seems slight by comparison and more obvious repertoire for the violinist, it is no make-weight, following on sonically if not chronologically to that finale and sparkling with the vivacity she brings to every melody. The pairing may in fact do that composer's posthumous reputation no harm at all.

Keith Bruce