Commissioned or premiered by some of the greatest violinists of the age—Kreisler, Dushkin, Elman—all the usual Martinu virtues are here in abundance, which makes the subsequent neglect of this important body of work even more incomprehensible. A decade after their original release, these recordings remain virtually unchallenged. The works recorded in this set—Martinu’s complete output for solo violin and orchestra, including compositions with other solo instruments.
Hogwood developed a passion for Martinů’s music while a student in Prague in the 1960s, as is evident at every stage in this wide-ranging collection. He seems most at home in the earlier, baroque-inflected concerto grosso style pieces such as the Duo concertante for two violins, but he also has a firm grasp of the symphonic fibre in the bigger-boned works. BBC ****