Movement 1: Andante – Allegro non troppo
Movement 2: Andante cantabile
Movement 3: Allegro risoluto
In 1975 the much-respected Dvorák scholar Jarmil Burghauser published his orchestration of the A major concerto; this edition closely follows the original, and certainly merits attention. But almost fifty years earlier the German composer Günter Raphael had produced a much freer version, revising the concerto as he imagined Dvorák might have done himself had he ever returned to the work. Raphael was a successful composer in his own right, his works being performed by Furtwängler, among many others; he took a bold approach to the task, by his own admission practically rewriting Dvorák’s concerto. On paper, it looks curious—an early work by Dvorák, re-written by a twentieth-century modernist. And yet, in my humble (but convinced) opinion, as music this version works far better than the original. Raphael retains the warmth and charm of the concerto, while sculpting it into a manageable shape. Of course, it is not a masterpiece on the level of the later B minor concerto; but is it fair to lock up an older child just because their younger sibling is a genius? I love the A major concerto for the beauty of its melodies, for the freshness of its inspiration, for its typically rustic spirit—and for the sense of sheer joy that bubbles through the entire work.
from notes by Steven Isserlis © 2013