Ross Edwards: Maninyas; Sibelius: Violin Concerto Adele Anthony

11.04.11
Adele Anthony
Allmusic.com

By Mike D. Brownell

Separated by nearly a century, and written on virtually opposite ends of the globe, the violin concertos of Australian Ross Edwards and Finn Jean Sibelius would appear to have little in common. In juxtaposing them, this Canary Classics album makes the argument that both composers were highly influenced by nature and their environment. For Edwards, this is certainly the case. His emergent and self-identified style, known as Maninyas, draws heavily from Australian culture as well as the sounds of nature. The violin concerto incorporates this style with an exciting rhythmic vibrancy and melodic interest. Sibelius did not attempt to directly quote sounds from his surroundings, but in a more abstract sense he certainly defined Finnish art music for generations to come. Whether or not these two concertos are ideal disc mates or not is up to individual listeners. But what is certain is that both are marvelous contributions to the repertoire. Violinist Adele Anthony, joined by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, elevates them both with her playing that is bursting with rhythmic vitality and energy in the Edwards, and dripping with long, lush melodic lines in the Sibelius. Her connection with conductor Arvo Volmer is effortless, creating a relationship between soloist and orchestra that is seamless and dynamic. Anthony's sound is not exceptionally powerful, and some may wish that Canary had increased her levels throughout the disc.