Marsalis: Violin Concerto, Fiddle Dance Suite
Wynton Marsalis wrote his Violin Concerto for Nicola Benedetti, and she gave its first performance in 2015. Its ambition and scale are impressive, embracing many musical references that link the violinist’s Scottish roots and the composer’s jazz background—and a lot else in between. The orchestration is wonderfully accomplished, and Marsalis judges the interplay between soloist and ensemble with considerable skill. The Philadelphia Orchestra under Christian Măcelaru is in top from, matching Benedetti’s evident affection for the piece. The solo Fiddle Dance Suite marries Celtic and bluegrass music with rewarding results, and again Benedetti sparkles.