Philippe Graffin provided one of Avie’s landmark releases, the world-premiere recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto (AV 0044). He returns with a more intimate but equally innovative disc devoted to works from his homeland. The figureheads of French impression – Debussy and Ravel – are paired with Impressions by the revelatory Romanian George Enescu, for whom Paris was like a second home.
Graffin, a multiple Gramophone Editor’s Choice artist, offers some popular melodies in unfamiliar guises. A trio of Debussy miniatures – Minstrels, Il Pleure dans mon Coeur, and La fille aux cheveux de lin – are heard in arrangements by Hungarian violinist Arthur Hartmann, a close friend of the composer. Ravel’s Tzigane is heard here with the original instrument it was written for, the prepared-piano sounding lutheal, using the last known instrument (from 1922) which is housed in the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels.
Recording of the Month
"As usual, Avie’s production values are of the highest order. Excellent, thorough and fascinating program notes, beautiful packaging and a concept that is above reproach. This is a must-have for all lovers of violin playing. Buy it soon, and prepare to be transported, transmuted, transfixed and transfigured!"