Romantic Violin Concerto Vol 9 Ferdinand David
Gil Shaham / Brabbins

Ferdinand David (not to be confused with his exact contemporary, French composer Félicien David) was himself a violin virtuoso. Although he was eminent enough as a performer for Mendelssohn to have written his Violin Concerto for him, David’s own works have largely been ignored in the twentieth century. Just as the Hyperion Piano Concerto series has brought to light some forgotten treasures, this new CD reveals David’s 4thand 5th Violin Concertos as utterly charming and irresistible gems. To be fair, the persuasiveness of these performances is at least partly due to Hagai Shaham’s convincing playing, which has a focus and precision that lends real authority to the music, and the beautifully shaped orchestral ripieno under conductor Martyn Brabbins. Although cast in a fairly Mendelssohn-like mould, David’s composerly character very effectively marries the traditional virtuoso manner with seriousness of structural purpose, and the result is a music that satisfies on many levels. Highly recommended.

Review reprinted with permission of Thomas’ Music.