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Track(s) taken from CDH55260

Violin Concerto No 2 in D major

1781; British Library Add. MSS 35008/9; contains quotations from Gluck's La rencontre imprévue

Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Recording details: January 1996
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: June 1996
Total duration: 17 minutes 57 seconds

Cover artwork: A View of the Abbey Mill and Weir on the River Avon at Bath by Thomas Ross (fl1730-1745)
Ackermann & Johnson Ltd / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'This disc proves as delightful as it is surprising … a disc of rarities that will give much unexpected pleasure … I heard this CD on its first release and absolutely loved it. I was astonished that the violin concerto had reached such levels in classical England … these are four challenging, tuneful pieces that deserve to be heard again and again' (Early Music Review)

'It's good to see this fine recording reissued at mid price … these concertos are attractive, tuneful and extremely accomplished' (Classic FM Magazine)
Samuel Wesley mixes elements of the Baroque and Classical styles in an effective way in his D major Concerto of 1781. It is the second of seven violin concertos he wrote between 1779 and 1785 for the concerts he organized with his brother Charles in the family house in Chesterfield Street, Marylebone; Wesley was just fifteen at the time. It contains some extremely taxing solo writing, with high positions and elaborate double stops, while the first movement is an assured example of mature Classical concerto form—though, at more than 350 bars, it also shows that he had not yet learned when to stop! The slow movement has some attractive ethereal passages for three solo violins, while the helter-skelter finale is delightfully sure-footed. From time to time Wesley throws in a cheeky quotation from the march in Gluck’s La rencontre imprévue (1764), known in German as Die Pilgrimme von Mecca, which Mozart used as the basis of a set of piano variations. It is not clear how he came across the theme, for Gluck’s opera does not seem to have been produced or published in London.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1996

Dans son Concerto en ré majeur de 1781, Samuel Wesley fait un mélange efficace d’éléments issus des styles baroque et classique. Entre 1779 et 1785, Wesley composa sept concertos pour violon, certainement destinés aux concerts que son frère Charles et lui organisaient dans la demeure familiale de Chesterfield Street, à Marylebone; Wesley avait alors tout juste quinze ans. Le présent concerto, le deuxième de la série, recèle une écriture soliste extrêmement ardue, avec des positions hautes et des doubles cordes élaborées, lors même que le premier mouvement est un exemple de concerto classique plein d’assurance—bien que, fort de plus de trois cent cinquante mesures, il nous montre aussi que Wesley n’avait pas encore appris à s’arrêter! Le mouvement lent présente quelques attrayants passages éthérés pour trois violons solo, et le finale désordonné est délicieusement sûr. De temps en temps, Wesley insère une impertinente citation de la marche de La rencontre imprévue (1764) de Gluck, que Mozart utilisa comme base d’un ensemble de variations pour piano. Nous ignorons d’ailleurs comment il découvrit ce thème, l’opéra de Gluck n’ayant apparemment jamais été produit ou publié à Londres.

extrait des notes rédigées par Peter Holman © 1996
Français: Hypérion

Samuel Wesley mischt in seinem Konzert in D-Dur aus dem Jahr 1781 barocke und klassische Stilelemente recht wirkungsvoll. Es ist das zweite von sieben Violinkonzerten, die er zwischen 1779 und 1785 für Aufführungen schrieb, die er zusammen mit seinem Bruder Charles im Haus der Familie in der Chesterfield Street, Marylebone organisierte. Wesley war zu jener Zeit nur fünfzehn Jahre alt. Das Werk enthält Passagen äußerst anspruchsvoller Solokomposition, mit hoher Tonfolge und kunstvollen Doppelgriffen, während der erste Satz ein anerkanntes Beispiel der reifen, klassischen Konzertform darstellt—obgleich mit seinen mehr als 350 Takten von einer Länge, die andeutet, daß er noch nicht gelernt hatte, einen Schlußstrich zu ziehen! Der langsame Satz enthält einige ansprechend himmlische Passagen für drei Solo-Violinen, während das wilde Finale wunderbar sicher ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Peter Holman © 1996
Deutsch: Ute Mansfeldt

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