Why is it that so many more women than men have performed and recorded the Szymanowski violin concerti? Wanda Wilkomirska, Suzanne Lautenbacher, Chantal Juillet, and here, Lydia Mordkovitch. They are all very good in this repertoire, and in the case of the present recording the violinist is given ravishing accompaniment by conductor Vassily Sinaisky and the BBC Philharmonic. For anyone who likes the sound-world of composers like Scriabin, Griffes, Sorabji and Cyril Scott, you'll really like Szymanowki's style -- and it's doubly interesting in that those other composers generally devoted their efforts to the piano, not the violin.
The Concert Overture is in a completely different vein -- a younger work, written under the spell of the German/Austrian late romantics. It's the best concert overture Richard Strauss never wrote! What a curtain raiser this is. The violin concertos may be way too difficult for most performers to tackle, but there's no reason why the overture couldn't be programmed by most orchestras ... it could open a symphony concert quite effectively. I imagine a conductor like Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Jarvi or JoAnn Falletta would have a field day with it -- as Sinaisky does here. (In fact, my speakers practically bottomed out during the flourish of the final orchestral peroration and closing bass drum/timpani roll.)
This CD is a winner -- great recordings of fine music, in super sound.