John J. Puccio
, March 2012
The primary performers on the disc are a young pair of musicians [Alexander Gilman and Perry So]…with enormous talent and potential, who provide the music with a Romantic spirit and youthful vitality. With the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the participants do the music proud.
The program begins with the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14, by the American composer Samuel Barber…It’s surprising that two performers as young as Gilman and So would produce such a relaxed and moving an interpretation…they resisted the temptations and present the music in a most-touching manner, intimate and soaring.
…we find the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op. 35, by the Austro-Hungarian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold…Gilman and So treat the piece with reverence, soberness, and almost old-fashioned sentiment. It’s exactly what the music needs, and the second-movement Andante is meltingly beautiful. Then, as Barber did in his concerto, Korngold ends his work in a rather rambunctious style, with Gilman and So letting their hair down, so to speak.
…we hear the theme from the movie Schindler’s List by American composer John Williams…The music is brief and appropriately serious. It also allows the orchestra a bigger role in the music making and provides opportunities for both Gilman and So to shine.
The sound is big and warm, the violin comparatively close, the orchestra placed effortlessly behind it in a wide array. There is a pleasing sense of ambient bloom on the instruments…Nevertheless, the rich, resonant sonics go a long way toward conveying the Romantic mood of the music, and it doesn’t really affect the tone of the violin, which remains quite clear and natural throughout the proceedings. © 2012 Classical Candor Read complete review