The music of Scottish late-Romantic Sir Alexander Mackenzie is now becoming much better known thanks to the earlier Hyperion recording of his orchestral music, the reception of which had the critics scratching their heads wondering why such attractive music remained neglected for so long. 'Another hugely enjoyable Hyperion rescue act' was how Gramophone received this record, issued a year ago.
This new CD presents first recordings of two of Mackenzie's concerted works for violin, the suite Pibroch also being scored for violin and orchestra. The word 'pibroch' is taken from bagpipe music where it denotes a classical style (usually in variation form) rather than the more usual 'strathspey and reel' type of dance music associated with the instrument. The Concerto, written for Sarasate and much played by him, dates from 1885; Pibroch from four years later.
'As lovely and satisfying a concerto as I've been introduced to in a long while' (American Record Guide)
'Stewart is the real red-blooded article, with a big sound and a bow that travels across the strings so fast that it must look like a blur in the concert hall. But not a single note is blurred or slighted here' (Fanfare, USA)
'Malcolm Stewart probably learnt both pieces especially for this recording, but he plays them as though he’s known them all his life. Vernon Handley had that miraculous knack of producing committed performances of unfamiliar music rather than just offering the right notes at the right time; the Scottish National Orchestra play with affection and fervour, and their one-time principal flautist, David Davies, is by no means overshadowed by his senior partner on the rostrum. So with fine music, finely performed, at bargain price, offering the chance to experience for oneself one of the earlier influences on Elgar, what more is there to say?' (Elgar Society Journal)
Konzert für Violine und Orchester op. 32 cis-moll (1885)
1. Satz: Allegro non troppo
2. Satz: Largo
3. Satz: Finale: Allegro vivace
Pibroch op. 42 (1889) (Suite für Violine und Orchester)