In the worst of times, we write violin concertos

It took an artist’s intuition to register that most of the best modern concertos were composed in the 1930s, the darkest of decades. Hitler was rampant in central Europe, Stalin was murdering millions, Spain was riven by civil war and the world’s economy was in the dumps.

Gil Shaham, on his own label, is bringing together 18 major concertos from this troubled time. Some are standard repertoire, others less familiar. Some engage with issues of the day, others turn a Nelsonian eye. No matter, together they are a monument to humankind’s ability to careen madly towards disaster.

Gil’s first volume is my Album of the Week on sinfini.com. Click here to read more. His recording of the Hartmann and Barber concertos are pretty much without equal.

gil shaham

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