This has to be one of the most underrated, sleeper CDs on the market. I am no expert on the Beethoven Violin Concerto, but right from the start the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias makes it known that this will be no regular interpretation. Maximiano Valdes has a suaveness to his conducting. The tempo and phrasing are orchestrally right on, but also with flair. Elmar Oliveira plays with poetry. I don't know if Oliveira is the most virtuosic violinist, but he certainly has a supple fiddle. The same comments and remarks could be given about the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto also. There are little touches to both the orchestra and violin that seem natural, suave, and poetic.
In a sea of recordings for both these pieces this one stands out immediately in my mind. It is a modern DDD recording from the year 2000. The label is Artek with which I am vaguely familiar with having had a recording by them of Shostakovich and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. The venue is resonant. But be forewarned that the only weakness from this recording is the booming sound in the loud passages from the orchestra throughout. This offering as I received it was at a super bargain price and it competes well with full priced versions of the same pieces.
I thought I took a chance on buying this, but as it turned out it was only doubts and reservations to be forgotten. I am so excited about this CD that I am giving it five stars because I love it.