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The Violin Concerto was written for Ruggiero Ricci and took four years in the making, appearing for the first time in 1978 celebrating Ricci's golden jubilee. It is another work in which a homage to Bartók is in the background, his second concerto being the only major twentieth century work of its kind to appeal to Schurmann's instinctive sympathy for the instrument. It is gratefully written, allowing the violin to play its natural singing role. It is in two movements; the first an 'introduction and allegro' design; and the second a set of finely made variations on an exquisitely lyrical theme [listen -- track 7, 0:00-0:58].

Gerard Schurmann. Photo © Clive Barda
Gerard Schurmann. Photo © Clive Barda

That Schurmann, who now lives in Los Angeles, has spent the greater part of his time since 1948 as a conductor (first in the Netherlands and then in Britain) shines through his accomplished orchestration and his inherent feeling for what works with an orchestra. This is a most welcome recording, showing him at his best in both his major lifetime roles.

Copyright © 4 October 2003 Patric Standford, Wakefield, UK

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Schurmann: Violin Concerto; Concerto for Orchestra

CHAN 9915 DDD Stereo 65'03" 2002 Chandos Records Ltd

Olivier Charlier, violin; BBC Philharmonic; Gerard Schurmann, conductor

Gerard Schurmann: Concerto for Orchestra; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

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GERARD SCHURMANN

BBC PHILHARMONIC

OLIVIER CHARLIER

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