Ross Edwards: Maninyas. Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto

Album review
Ross Edwards: Maninyas. Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto

Ross Edwards, Jean Sibelius

Ross Edwards: Maninyas. Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto

Label: Canary
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

Australian Ross Edwards wrote his violin concerto, Maninyas, in the late 1980s, after leaving his “modernist” style for one characterized by rhythmic vitality and chant-like modal melodies, a style he coined the word “Maninya” for. The first movement starts beautifully, with the harmonies hovering around the interval of a minor 7th. My initial impression was that the piece didn’t go anywhere, but concentrating on it revealed the structure: the first movement evolves into an “Intermezzo Quasi Cadenza,” and both movements find their release in the third, “Maninyas Chorale.” Edwards’s ideas don’t need bombast, so he doesn’t succumb to that in the climax. There’s an odd little contrabassoon solo, some questioning chords, then a pedal tone under the violin’s ruminations. The piece closes with an ecstatically unresolved note. Edwards’s writing is tonal, and reminiscent of minimalism in the mood and harmonies, but not in the repetition. This is a brilliant piece, well worth hearing. The Sibelius takes five minutes more than the Heifetz (as a comparison) and sounds much less spastic. Anthony isn’t as fiery, but offers mellifluous warmth and great atmosphere, and strength, too. The sound is vivid and grand. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Adele Anthony
  • primary artist, Adelaide Symphnoy
  • group member, Volmer
  • composer, Ross Edwards
  • composer, Jean Sibelius
  • CD

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