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Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D; Dvorak: Romance, Op. 11; Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor [Import]

Erich Leinsdorf Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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1. Concerto in D, Op.35: Allegro moderato
2. Concerto in D, Op.35: Canzonetta: Andante
3. Concerto in D, Op.35: Finale: Allegro vivacissimo
4. Romance: Romance, Op.11
5. Concerto In D Minor, Op.47: Allegro moderato
6. Concerto In D Minor, Op.47: Adagio di molto
7. Concerto In D Minor , Op.47: Allegro, ma non troppo

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The young Itzhak Perlman was as impressively virtuoso as the more mature and thoughtful artist he has become; these first versions of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos are flashy and passionate, and none the worse for that. Both are, in a real sense, works about showing off--Tchaikovsky was creating a showcase for a performer he rather liked and Sibelius making his way in the world as a soloist--and there is something to be said for performances which remind us of that. Leinsdorf. always a generous conductor when working with soloists, gives Perlman his head; these are big performances which find the right balance between speed and delicacy. These are, after all, works in which the violin engages in dialogue with the full resources of the Romantic orchestra as an equal partner. The Dvorak Romance makes an attractive filler, intelligently placed to clear the palate between two rich works.--Roz Kaverney

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Auspicious Beginnings Nov. 2 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Though these recordings from the mid to late 60s find Perlman at the beginning of his international career, they capture well the qualities most associated with his now mature artistry: solid technique, lyricism, and continuity of line. The Perlman approach works best with the Tchaikovsky concerto in a performance that eschews pyrotechnics until the last movement. The first movement sounds unlike any other recorded version, emphasizing the thoughtful, even melancholy elements within the score. The second and third movements are more conventional in their delivery, with the eruption of the finale's high spirits more astounding given the restraint shown earlier. The Dvorak was the original disc-mate for the Tchaikovsky, and sounds lovely here. Perlman and Leinsdorf seem less interested in the Sibelius. Everything's well-executed and beautifully rendered, but this is a reading that stays on the surface, with little acknowledgement of the raging passions underneath.
Perhaps most appealing about the High Performance release to those collectors familiar only with the previous Red Seal and Gold Seal releases of the Tchaikovsky and Dvorak is the refurbishment of the sound. The lps' sound was terrible - muffled and distorted. The first cd release on RCA's Papillion series miraculously cured the sonic ills, and High Performance doesn't improve much upon that earlier issue. But the Perlman/Leinsdorf/Dvorak piece is new to cd, and it may tempt some collectors to replace the Papillion with the fuller High Performance cd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars vinyl April 4 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I had a copy of this on vinyl when I was younger and I lost it. However, I then found it on CD in a store and bought it. It is undoubtedly my VERY favorite piece of music. I love the sound of a violin and I can hear the strains of the music in my head so clearly and I can't help but smile, because I have never heard a violin make such beautiful sounds as it does in the violin concerto.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Tchaikovsky versions Feb. 8 2000
Format:Audio CD
I bought this cd because I am a fan of the Tchaikovsky concerto and a huge fan of Perlman. He doesn't disappoint. It is hard to imagine why this recording hasn't been available all these years. The Tchaikovsky is outstanding, with Perlman at the prime of his youth playing with real panache and flair. The sound is close with loud climaxes and the soloist close to the mic. It is now definitely one of the best versions available, better than both of Perlman's recordings with EMI. The BSO under Leinsdorf is captured well. Unfortunately the Sibelius is not so memorable. Similar to Perlman's later recording with Previn on EMI, he seems to push the first movement a little too hard with the result being a loss of feeling and mystery. I don't hear the dark, brooding quality I expect to hear in this work. Leinsdorf was not known for his Sibelius either and it shows. For the Sibelius, try Vadim Repin on Erato (also coupled with an excellent Tchaikovsky).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perlman's recording debut 1966 Jan. 27 2000
Format:Audio CD
Where have these recordings been hiding? It is hard to imagine the reason why they ever left print. Many thanks to BMG for bringing these performances back as part of the "High Performance" series. The Sibelius was Perlman's recording debut, and the Tchaikovsky was his first recording of four currently in the catalog. What a performance! The Tchaikovsky performance takes its rightful place with Vengerov/Abbado and Repin/Krivine as the best current versions in print. The first movement is taken at a breathless speed and yet it highlights Perlman's extreme virtuosity. The central movement is reflective, but not overly sentimental. The final movement is brilliant and exciting. The end is simply thrilling. The sound is very bright, as was customary for the RCA recordings from Boston in the 60's. But the Boston Symphony sounds excellent and the "High Performance" engineers are to be congratulated. The Sibelius is of a similar high quality, although I wouldn't say it approaches the best available versions. Lin/Salonen on Sony and Kennedy/Rattle on EMI both surpass Perlman. Even so it is thrilling to hear his debut recording. The Dvorak serenade is as beautifully played as I've heard, and the liner notes are excellent. A historic re-release.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perlman's recording debut 1966 Jan. 27 2000
By J. Buxton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Where have these recordings been hiding? It is hard to imagine the reason why they ever left print. Many thanks to BMG for bringing these performances back as part of the "High Performance" series. The Sibelius was Perlman's recording debut, and the Tchaikovsky was his first recording of four currently in the catalog. What a performance! The Tchaikovsky performance takes its rightful place with Vengerov/Abbado and Repin/Krivine as the best current versions in print. The first movement is taken at a breathless speed and yet it highlights Perlman's extreme virtuosity. The central movement is reflective, but not overly sentimental. The final movement is brilliant and exciting. The end is simply thrilling. The sound is very bright, as was customary for the RCA recordings from Boston in the 60's. But the Boston Symphony sounds excellent and the "High Performance" engineers are to be congratulated. The Sibelius is of a similar high quality, although I wouldn't say it approaches the best available versions. Lin/Salonen on Sony and Kennedy/Rattle on EMI both surpass Perlman. Even so it is thrilling to hear his debut recording. The Dvorak serenade is as beautifully played as I've heard, and the liner notes are excellent. A historic re-release.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Tchaikovsky versions Feb. 8 2000
By J. Buxton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I bought this cd because I am a fan of the Tchaikovsky concerto and a huge fan of Perlman. He doesn't disappoint. It is hard to imagine why this recording hasn't been available all these years. The Tchaikovsky is outstanding, with Perlman at the prime of his youth playing with real panache and flair. The sound is close with loud climaxes and the soloist close to the mic. It is now definitely one of the best versions available, better than both of Perlman's recordings with EMI. The BSO under Leinsdorf is captured well. Unfortunately the Sibelius is not so memorable. Similar to Perlman's later recording with Previn on EMI, he seems to push the first movement a little too hard with the result being a loss of feeling and mystery. I don't hear the dark, brooding quality I expect to hear in this work. Leinsdorf was not known for his Sibelius either and it shows. For the Sibelius, try Vadim Repin on Erato (also coupled with an excellent Tchaikovsky).
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Auspicious Beginnings Nov. 2 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though these recordings from the mid to late 60s find Perlman at the beginning of his international career, they capture well the qualities most associated with his now mature artistry: solid technique, lyricism, and continuity of line. The Perlman approach works best with the Tchaikovsky concerto in a performance that eschews pyrotechnics until the last movement. The first movement sounds unlike any other recorded version, emphasizing the thoughtful, even melancholy elements within the score. The second and third movements are more conventional in their delivery, with the eruption of the finale's high spirits more astounding given the restraint shown earlier. The Dvorak was the original disc-mate for the Tchaikovsky, and sounds lovely here. Perlman and Leinsdorf seem less interested in the Sibelius. Everything's well-executed and beautifully rendered, but this is a reading that stays on the surface, with little acknowledgement of the raging passions underneath.
Perhaps most appealing about the High Performance release to those collectors familiar only with the previous Red Seal and Gold Seal releases of the Tchaikovsky and Dvorak is the refurbishment of the sound. The lps' sound was terrible - muffled and distorted. The first cd release on RCA's Papillion series miraculously cured the sonic ills, and High Performance doesn't improve much upon that earlier issue. But the Perlman/Leinsdorf/Dvorak piece is new to cd, and it may tempt some collectors to replace the Papillion with the fuller High Performance cd.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vinyl April 4 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I had a copy of this on vinyl when I was younger and I lost it. However, I then found it on CD in a store and bought it. It is undoubtedly my VERY favorite piece of music. I love the sound of a violin and I can hear the strains of the music in my head so clearly and I can't help but smile, because I have never heard a violin make such beautiful sounds as it does in the violin concerto.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perlman is pure silk, but the reading sounds rather careful June 15 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although a great virtuoso, Itzhak Perlman has never been much of a risk taker. Even in these debut recordings from Boston in 1966 and 1967, he refuses to make anything but lovely sounds, and no phrase is allowed to escape his careful control. He's an artist who eschews impetuosity. I like the refurbished High Performance sonocs in 24/96 digital. The violin sounds natural, without shrillness in its upper range, and the BSO has plenty of room to breathe.

For me, Leinsdorf is always a problem. Here, as usual, he keeps strict time and is routine in every respect. He shares half the blame for the low-key first movement of the Tchaikovsky, which really needs fire and passion, not caution. But Perlman isn't exactly ablaze, either, as marvelously well as he plays.

The Sibelius concerto has a more important orchestral part, so we sorely miss a Rattle, Muti, or Sinopoli on the podium, just to mention the conductors who support Nigel Kennedy, Gidon Kremer, and Gil Shaham so incisively on their recordings. The violin concerto is in Sibelius's ripest romantic style, deeply influenced by Tchaikovsky, but if anything Leinsdorf is more recessive here. The Adagio is taken fairly quickly, however, which is a help in sustaining interest if you're going to be this literal. The finale begs for more energy from the orchestra, but Perlman breaks loose a bit and gives a gripping acocunt of the solo part.

If you want to hear the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos played with emphasis on tonal beauty and control, this is a five-star CD. But for me, the only listener who would be thrilled by it is a violin teacher.
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