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Mark Wigglesworth

Khachaturian Violin Concerto

James Ehnes and The Melbourne Symphony

‘The Khachaturian, composed for David Oistrakh in 1940, is a blast, its raucous optimism totally out of step with its time. James Ehnes’s total lack of inhibition is just what the work deserves, and this full-blooded performance is glorious. Ehnes can change mood with mercurial ease, the first movement’s blustering cast aside when he reaches Khachaturian’s glorious second subject. He’s aided by a delicious oboe solo. As guilty pleasures go, this is up with the best of them. The Andante sostenuto’s Armenian folk influences are deftly handled, and there’s an irritatingly catchy last movement. Mark Wigglesworth’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra play as if possessed. Approach this music with an open mind and you’ll be dazzled and beguiled.’

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, June 7th 2014