Esa-Pekka Salonen and Cho-Liang Lin seem to think alike, as one immediately notices here. In both the Sibelius and Nielsen concertos the orchestral part runs along seamlessly with the soloist. It's rare for violin virtuosos to submit themselves to an equal partner, and perhaps Lin goes a bit too far. He has a big tone (especially as miked here) and a very direct way of expressing himself. I only wish he'd cut loose in the first movement of the Sibelius, or that in the finale his playing felt a little less controlled.
But those are quibbles. There's a lot to be thrilled by in these muscular, sometimes brash performances. As remastered, Sony's recorded sound for Lin is demonstration quality, adding a great deal to one's pleasure. The Nielsen is so well played that for years this CD was the front-runner, although Vengerov has managed to beat Lin out with extra passion and finesse. Even so, Lin has musical integrity and impeccable technique. The stronger personality here, I suspect, is Salonen, who is a first-rate Sibelian and turns the orchestral parts of both concertos into symphonic works.