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Great Perf: Violin Concerto Original recording remastered, Import

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Performer: Francescatti; Ny Philharmonic
  • Composer: Mendelssohn; Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (Oct. 31 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B000F6YW58
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1. Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64; I. Allegro molto appassionato
2. Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64; II. Andante
3. Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64; III. Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace
4. Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35; I. Allegro moderato
5. Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35; II. Canzonetta. Andante
6. Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35; III. Finale. Allegro ivacissimo

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa61e9c60) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2ee072c) out of 5 stars The Fabulous Francescatti Aug. 27 2006
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This Sony "Great Performances" title marks the reissue of two of violinist Zino Francescatti's best stereo Concerto recordings -- the Mendelssohn with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra and the Tchaikovsky with Thomas Schippers and the New York Philharmonic. These performances were previously available on separate CDs in the "Take 2 - Sony Essential Classics" series (see my review of the Mendelssohn title), but both are now out-of-print. The highlight here is the 1961 Mendelssohn, one of my favorite recordings of the work along with accounts by Menuhin and Heifetz. On the other hand, the 1965 Tchaikovsky features good playing from Francescatti (though I prefer his mono account with Mitropoulos on the now OOP Sony "Masterworks Heritage" two-disc set), but with only adequate support from Schippers, who has never wowed me other than with his Barber (see my review of his recently reissued "Alexander Nevsky/Pictures at an Exhibition" GP title). Overall, these golden age recordings are a delight to have available again with improved sound, but I'm still disappointed that Sony has deleted its entire budget line just to reissue a few remastered gems at mid-price.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2ee0780) out of 5 stars The best version of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Feb. 22 2008
By Brian C. Holly - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The other reviewers fail to give this recording the credit it deserves. It was one of my favorites 35 years ago, and when I saw it available here I was delighted, but upon reading the other reviewers, I wondered if perhaps I had been mistaken all those years ago. I was not. Francescatti was one of the four or five best violinists of the 20th century, and he simply plays the first movement of the Tchaikovsky better than anyone else. It is simply breathtaking -- an astouding adventure. Francescatti's playing both precise and passionate. Definitely superior to Heifitz, who often slurs passages. That's not passion; it's sloppiness. The sound quality of this recording is surprisingly excellent -- very vivid and alive.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2ee0a5c) out of 5 stars Unbelievably excellent Dec 8 2009
By Barry J. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got addicted to this recording in the Army when my roommate began playing his LP copy. It, like a number of other recordings, stuck with me and I bought the same pieces recorded by others several times over the years until this re-release became available. I'm not saying that I really know anything about serious musicians, but Zino Francescatti plays his heart out on this, while everyone else in the other recordings seems to be lost somewhere else. Even to a non-expert, it becomes clear that there are just times, places, and people that, when combined properly, yield music that gets the hairs up on your arms, again and again. This is one of those.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2ee0954) out of 5 stars welcome back Dec 30 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I owned this pairing on vinyl long ago and was surprised and delighted to see it reissued by CBS/Sony in their "Great Performances" series. And they are great! The name Francescatti didn't have the cachet of Heifetz or the young Perlman, but the man could play. His recording of the Mozart Third and Fourth Concertos is my favorite, even though I know that stylistically something less romantic is probably called for, and here he plays down the romanticism (or rather, lets it speak for itself in the nature of the thematic material) and gives a classically energetic and even athletic account of these works. He has a very focused tone -- not a big "full" Perlman-like one -- and he uses it here to play with a combination of precision, pace, and elegance that is very winning. Szell and a scaled-down Cleveland Orchestra back him to the hilt in the Mendelssohn (recorded 1961), and the sound and balance are very good. Mendelssohn composed the piece for the virtuoso Ferdinand David and the combination of elegance (in the first and second movements especially) and sheer energy (in the last) is irresistible. Grumiaux might bring even more elegance and poignancy, but this works its own magic.

The Tchaikovsky is even more remarkable. It's a piece I've been averse to until I heard Midori and Abbado give their very refined and superbly recorded account of it. Here, with Schippers and the NY Philharmonic, there isn't as much refinement in the sound, but Francescatti catches a Mendelssohnian lightness in the first movement, and understated eloquence in the second, and then gives an account of the third that is genuinely witty and charming as well as superbly played. In the hesitant opening of that third movement, he seems to be saying, "I don't really want to get into this!" but, of course, he has to, and off he goes with great spirit. In the section of "conversation" with solo instruments from the orchestra, there seems a touch of self-mockery, a pseudo-virtuostic "souping up" that is just funny, and then off hell-for-leather into the ending. Schippers is on board with it all, and the effect is exhilarating. This is a great re-issue and I'm very happy to have re-acquired it.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2ee0f9c) out of 5 stars The gentleman of violin per excellence! April 4 2009
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Zino Francescatti meant for violin what Casadesus for the piano, and that's why their successful musical joining would not be regarded such as mere coincidence. A meaningful colorist, gifted of a very distinguished phrasing and eloquent expressiveness.

This violin's gentleman gave for the posterity genuine musical gems hovered of warm lyricism, refined musicality without losing tonal opulence.

His performance of Saint Saens' Third violin concerto has no paragon. His Mendelssohn version still remains among the top five through the history of the musical interpretation. I would cite the another four. Szigetti- Beecham , Stern-Ormandy, Heifetz and Menuhin.

The Tchaikovsky violin concerto, to be honest has three unsurmountable high peaks: Kogan, Heifetz and Gitlis.