Reviews of Walton Violin Concerto CD

Walton and Barber concertos on Signum Classics, Thomas Bowes and the Malmo Opera Orchestra conducted by Joseph Swensen


…captures every aspect of this concerto almost to perfection… he yields to no one in terms of sensitivity and technical mastery; you get the feeling that he knows every bar of this concerto inside out… Again, I want intimacy…a poet to capture the magic of this moment; Thomas Bowes certainly qualifies… Thomas Bowes: sensitive, refined, thoughtful, elegant, as well as brilliant, even flamboyant…

Piers Burton-Page on Building a Library (Walton concerto) CD Review 19th October 2013, BBC Radio 3.



What is so remarkable about Bowes as a soloist is not just his technical assurance, his flawless intonation over the widest range, tonal and dynamic, but his natural feeling for warmly romantic expressiveness… Thomas Bowes, best known as an orchestral leader and founder member of the Maggini Quartet, shows his mettle as a formidable virtuoso in these deeply felt readings of two violin concertos that share much…

Edward Greenfield, Gramaphone Magazine, September 2011



There have been several recordings lately of Walton's concerto. This new one by Thomas Bowes can hold its own with its rivals. The work's brittle wit and languorous Italy-inspired romance are held in proportion by the conductor Joseph Swensen. As they are in Barber's concerto, written at almost the same time as Walton's and covering similar emotional ground. Bowes plays it brilliantly.

Michael Kennedy, The Sunday Telegraph, August 2011



Bowes yields to none of the Walton's great interpreters – Heifetz (the dedicatee), Menuhin, Franccscatti, Chung, Kennedy – in his dazzling passage work, and he brings a deliciously laid-back italianita to the canzonetta of the middle movement with his gorgeous portamento and rubato… Bowes is hardly a household name, but these exceptional accounts of WaIton's and Barber's near-contemporaneous Violin Concertos – the Englishman's premiered in 1939, the American's two years later – should increase his stock value.

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, May 2011


Given his reputation – he’s led the LSO, RPO, Philharmonia and London Sinfonietta, among other orchestras – it’s surprising that Thomas Bowes should only now be making his first recording as a soloist, and perhaps more surprising that he should choose a programme of Walton and Barber. Having spent three weeks studying Walton’s Violin Concerto at the composer’s home on Ischia, he delivers a masterly account …

The Independent, May 2011


Violinist Thomas Bowes is not a name known widely on the international circuit but on the evidence of this disc his playing is the match of many more celebrated players… The bringing together of these two like-minded concertos makes for a very satisfying disc and no-one buying this disc alone would be anything but pleased with their purchase.

Nick Barnard, Musicweb international, July 2011


The soloist Thomas Bowes is so impressive here. His phrasing is a constant joy, so subtle is his perception – especially in the Walton – of the meanings behind each phrase, without going so far as to emphasize too much the importance of the bars in question. This is very impressive and deeply musical playing…this recording is a highly desirable release which I recommend without reservation.

Robert Mathew-Walker, International Record Review, October 2011