Philippe Graffin’s enterprise and ingenuity have been borne out in the world-premiere recording of the Violin Concerto by Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel (AV 0044), a disc of commissions and premieres by Lithuanian composer Vytautus Barkauskus (AV 2073), and the first recording of the original manuscript versions of Elgar’s Violin Concerto and Chausson’s Poème (AV 2091). He proves himself an equally eminent Mozartian on his latest Avie release, a two-disc set marking his second collaboration on Avie with the leading Japanese violist Nobuko Imai. In the sprightly Sinfonia Concertante, two delightful Duos, the Third Concerto plus an Adagio and a Rondo, the multi-tasking Graffin takes on the roles of soloist, chamber musician, director, and composer of his own cadenzas. He is backed by the versatile Brabant Philharmonic Orchestra of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The stylish packaging features another typical twist by the resourceful Graffin, who commissioned leading journalist and novelist Jessica Duchen to write a short story for the booklet, which also includes Avie’s trademark comprehensive documentation in three languages.
“In the Sinfonia Concertante… Graffin and Nobuko Imai steal in perfectly for their first phrase. …they are clearly listening to each other, and responding. Imai's burnished tone is, as ever, a delight, especially at the bottom of the range.” BBC Music Magazine