Shaham's performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto is quite simply the most lyrical recent performance available on CD; it is also the swiftest. I strongly commend Shaham's playing, though it lacks the pyrotechnics one hears in recent recordings by Mutter and Vengerov. With Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as accompanists, Shaham is in excellent hands; Abbado does a great job emphasizing the rich orchestral textures in Brahms's score. Indeed, I think Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic have yielded a more dramatic - and yes, swifter - performance of this concerto than their peers in New York (Mutter's Deutsche Grammophon recording) and Chicago (Vengerov's for Teldec). It is also the best-balanced of the three recordings.
It's regrettable that Shaham's performance wasn't recorded in the classic Jesus Christus Kirche studio used often by Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, taking advantage of the studio's warm, lush sound. However, the Double Concerto was recorded there. Unfortunately, that may be the only excellent point about its recording since neither Shaham nor Wang seem to meld well as soloists. I've heard other, more vibrant performances of the Double Concerto; one recently heard version is one with Szeryng and Starker with Bernard Haitink conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Fans of Shaham's playing won't be disappointed with either performance. However, if one wants more dramatic performances of the Brahms Violin Concerto, there are better recent recordings available, most notably those with Mutter and especially, Vengerov.