CD review: Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Francisco Coll: Violin Concerto, Hidd’n Blue Op. 6, Mural, Four Iberian Miniatures Op. 20, Aqua Cinerea Op. 1

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Francisco Coll: Violin Concerto, Hidd’n Blue Op. 6, Mural, Four Iberian Miniatures Op. 20, Aqua Cinerea Op. 1

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Gustavo Cimeno

Pentatone PTC 5186951

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★★✩✩✩

Spanish composer Francisco Coll (1985-) is the only student to date of Thomas Adès. Coll has had some considerable success with his orchestral work Hidd’n Blue Op. 6. Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and conductor Gustavo Cimeno have been actively championing his music, and both will appear with the Toronto Symphony next April for two performances of Coll’s Violin Concerto. Cimeno was appointed music director of the TSO last year but so far has been unable to take up his post because of the pandemic. Not to put too fine a point on it, Coll’s music is gritty and uncompromising. Less charitable listeners might just dismiss it as tuneless and uninteresting. The Violin Concerto is particularly challenging both for the soloist, who is given little more than ugly scratchings and scrapings to work with, and for the listener, who must endure 28 minutes of music that is so difficult to comprehend. Kopatchinskaya is also the soloist in a much more approachable piece, with its Carmen-inspired Spanish rhythms. Perhaps other listeners can find more to like about Coll’s music. And concerning the performances, I can only say that the musicians involved deserve great credit for the hard work that must have been involved.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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About Author

Former conductor and broadcaster, Paul E. Robinson, is the author of four books on conductors, Digital Editor for Classical Voice America, and a regular contributor to La Scena Musicale.

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