Roy Harris & John Adams - Violin Concertos | Signum SIGCD468

Roy Harris & John Adams - Violin Concertos


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Label: Signum

Cat No: SIGCD468

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 30th September 2016



Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin)
BBC Symphony Orchestra


Andrew Litton


Adams, John

Violin Concerto

Harris, Roy

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin)
BBC Symphony Orchestra


Andrew Litton


Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen continues her series of concerto recordings on Signum with two contrasting works by
American composers.

Already considered by many to be a modern classic, John Adams’s 1993 Violin Concerto was described by the composer as having a ‘hypermelody’, in which the soloist plays longs phrases without stop for the duration of the 35-minute piece.

Although composed in 1949, the first performance of Roy Harris’s Violin Concerto didn’t occur until 1984. Since then it has been championed for its ‘luminous orchestration and exalted tone’.

For this recording Tamsin Waley-Cohen is joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under American conductor Andrew


By my count, there have been five recordings of Adams’s Concerto before this one – all eminently recommendable. Tamsin Waley-Cohen’s new account doesn’t make the choice any easier, for her interpretation is technically beyond reproach and musically imaginative. What makes this recording indispensible is the coupling. ... Harris’s Concerto is a major (re-)discovery, and Waley-Cohen outclasses Fulkerson’s pioneering version in every respect. Andrew Litton and the BBC Symphony provide superb, supple support. Not to be missed.  Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone December 2016
Roy Harris may be the most all-American composer you have never heard of. He was born in an Oklahoma log cabin and paid his way through Berkeley partly by driving a truck, before following his contemporary Copland to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. His 1949 Violin Concerto is an ambitious work, sprawling but dynamic. Slower sections are rhapsodic, drawn-out and soaring – A Bluebird Ascending, perhaps – while more driven passages have the wide open landscape sound so evocative of the US, and which one might have previously labelled Coplandesque.  Erica Jeal
The Guardian 30 September 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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