Philippe Graffin (violin), Ulster Orchestra, Thierry Fischer (conductor)
This is a collection of absolute gems. The one-movement Concerto by Fauré is the only movement to have survived from an original three-movement violin concerto, and Saint-Saëns's Morceau de concert was originally intended as the first movement of his third violin concerto. Lalo's Fantaisie norvégienne, with its utterly gorgeous slow movement, was to become the inspiration behind Bruch's Scottish Fantaisie, and Guitarre is an early encore piece for violin and piano (later orchestrated by Gabriel Pierné) that Lalo (himself a violinist) wrote for his own use. Guiraud, who taught composition to both Debussy and Dukas, wrote the haunting Caprice for Sarasate, and the Poème by Canteloube shows much of the charm he is now so famed for through his Chants d'Auvergne.
The combination of Romantic French music for violin and orchestra, the ever-exquisite playing of Philippe Graffin, and superb accompaniment from the Ulster Orchestra under Thierry Fischer makes this disc quite simply enchanting.