Adams & Harris Violin Concertos

Signum: SIGCD468

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Adams & Harris Violin Concertos


Gramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Concerto

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2016



Catalogue No:




Release date:

30th Sept 2016




62 minutes


CD (download also available)

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Adams & Harris Violin Concertos

Adams, J:

Violin Concerto

Harris, Roy:

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


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Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen continues her series of concerto recordings on Signum with two contrasting works by American composers.

Already considered by many to be a modern classic, John Adams 1993 Violin Concerto was described by the composer as having a ‘hypermelody’, in which the soloist plays longs phrases without stop for the duration of the 35 minute piece. Although composed in 1949, the first performance of Roy Harris’s Violin Concerto didn’t occur until 1984. Since then it has been championed for its “luminous orchestration and exalted tone”.

For this recording Tamsin Waley-Cohen is joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under American conductor Andrew Litton.

Roy Harris: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

I. First Movement

II. Second Movement

III. Third Movement

IV. Fourth Movement

John Adams: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

I. First Movement

II. Chaconne "Body Through Which the Dream Flows"

III. Toccare

The Guardian

29th September 2016


“Roy Harris may be the most all-American composer you have never heard of...Waley-Cohen handles [the Adams's] gruelling solo part with athleticism and conviction, and both pieces benefit from the punchy playing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and insightful conducting of Andrew Litton.”

“It’s a very welcome work, with much to like, to be thrilled and moved by, and is given here with commitment and colour by all concerned.”

Record Review

“Tamsin Waley-Cohen brings the lyrical sweetness and breadth of tone Harris needs, while the sweeping vistas and exuberant rhythms are supplied by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton.”

The Classical Reviewer

“There is some tremendous playing from Waley-Cohen … with impressive accuracy from both soloist and orchestra, a real rapport … This is a fabulous performance of a very fine concerto. These two concertos sit remarkably well together. The recording is excellent as are the booklet notes.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2016

“Her interpretation [of the Adams] is technically beyond reproach and musically imaginative. What makes this recording indispensible is the coupling...Harris’s Concerto is a major (re-)discovery, and Waley-Cohen outclasses Fulkerson’s pioneering version in every respect. Andrew Litton and the BBC Symphony provide superb, supple support.”

BBC Music Magazine

Christmas 2016


“Waley-Cohen brings magnetic performances and an enthusiast’s passion to this splendid disc…his Violin Concerto duly bubbles with folk melodies, modal harmonies and open-hearted expression, and Waley-Cohen and the BBC Symphony Orchestra bring tremendous warmth and verve to their performance…[her] laser-bright tone and effortless agility drives this outstanding account”

Classical Music

December 2016

“very welcome new recordings full of verve and vigour … Waley Cohen plays vigorously throughout … an essential listen.”

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