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Vln Ctos [Original recording remastered]

N/Steinberg;W-Pittsbu Milstein Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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1. Beethoven: Violin Concerto In D: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
2. Beethoven: Violin Concerto In D: Larghetto
3. Beethoven: Violin Concerto In D: Rondo
4. Brahms: Violin Concerto In D: Allegro Non Troppo
5. Brahms: Violin Concerto In D: Adagio
6. Brahms: Violin Concerto In D: Allegro Giocoso, Ma Non Troppo Vivace

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Beethoven and Brahms. April 18 2002
Format:Audio CD
It seems dangerous for a person who doesn't play violin to review the disc of a great violinist-- but it hasn't stopped me before! All I can say is, of all the versions I've heard, this one of Nathan Milstein with William Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Symphony is the most satisfying. Sure, Mutter and Karajan in Berlin are recorded in lush digital sound in "performances" that seem more like the Beethoven and Brahms we've come to expect. Yet they also seem almost too safe-- and maybe too long in the first movements. Heifetz and Munch in Boston take the first movement of Beethoven more quickly, as Milstein and Steinberg do, only I think Heifetz is better in Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky (predictable as that sounds). Though it is not in glorious "Living Stereo," the opening timpani strokes in this recording are vivid and clear, signaling a great "performance." And the Pittsburgh Symphony under Steinberg's direction immediately won me over-- this is music-making from another era! He holds back, pushes forward, brings out the cellos, or the brass, and meanwhile keeps it all together with the kind of firm grip that is rarely heard these days. Actually, these days there are many wonderful violinists, and I know I'm missing out not hearing Kennedy, Hahn, Bell, Chang and countless others. Most contemporary violinists, like Mutter and Perlman, have an almost laser-like clean, pure quality to their playing, very beautiful, or pretty. I expected something closer to that from Milstein, rather than the hard cold edge of Heifetz (on record anyway). But Milstein isn't exactly pretty here, even if his trills (at 7'25" and 17') are stunningly even and pure. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring Nathan to Your Desert Island Dec 23 2001
Format:Audio CD
The Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos are the two pinnacles of the violin concerto repertoire, and Nathan Milstein is many a violinist's violinist, so it's hard to ignore this CD. Throw in that these are the finest of Milstein's several recordings of these two classic works, both exceptional accounts of the artist at his peak in the mid-1950s, skillfully remastered in 2001 by Angel/EMI at Abbey Road Studios using state-of-art "noise-shaping" technology, and you end up with a desert-island CD.
There are other reasons to have this recording. Milstein and conductor William Steinberg collaborate magnificently with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the acoustically rich setting of Pittsburgh's Syria Mosque to produce a masterpiece. It is technically superb and artistically inspired. Milstein's cadenzas on these classics are reason enough to have this recording. That it is available in the affordable mid-price range is a bonus. This is about as good as it gets.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring Nathan to Your Desert Island Dec 23 2001
By Brian Forst - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos are the two pinnacles of the violin concerto repertoire, and Nathan Milstein is many a violinist's violinist, so it's hard to ignore this CD. Throw in that these are the finest of Milstein's several recordings of these two classic works, both exceptional accounts of the artist at his peak in the mid-1950s, skillfully remastered in 2001 by Angel/EMI at Abbey Road Studios using state-of-art "noise-shaping" technology, and you end up with a desert-island CD.
There are other reasons to have this recording. Milstein and conductor William Steinberg collaborate magnificently with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the acoustically rich setting of Pittsburgh's Syria Mosque to produce a masterpiece. It is technically superb and artistically inspired. Milstein's cadenzas on these classics are reason enough to have this recording. That it is available in the affordable mid-price range is a bonus. This is about as good as it gets.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milstein at the top of his Game Sept. 7 2006
By Doug - Haydn Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Recorded in 1957 and 1954 respectfully, these are not for those of you who insist on modern digital recordings. However, if you love great violin playing look no further. Amazon has lowered the price to under eight dollars as further inducement, though to be brutally honest there are thousands of classical reissues that go for far more as "rarities" and cannot hold a candle to Milstein's playing. As early as 1955 David Hall was touting Milstein's recording of the Brahms Concerto offered here as "doing him full justice as an artist and a musician". Since then Milstein's achievement has been universally acknowledged as perhaps his single greatest recording. Almost all critics believe he was one of the very top violinists of the last century. This performance shows why.
Milstein wrote the cadenzas for both concertos, and both show refinement and melodic thoughtfulness over busywork or facile display. I am fortunate to have the original records, the first issued in the early days of long-playing records. To my ear an A - B comparison reveals the remastering was very successful with most of Milstein's extraordinary and entrancing tone intact on the CD.
Steinberg who was always underrated does a fine job here with the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra. In several places the older sound flattens their tone out, but generally they sound good and always are alert, consistently on hand to offer the soloist well-integrated bracing support. This was an orchestra that played Beethoven very well under Steinberg - they would later go on to record a complete cycle of the symphonies when it was still considered something of an undertaking. Their perfromance of the Beethoven seventh symphony (in fine stereo) shines out from that series - a fine example of musical architecture and propulsion. Steinberg could be very good - his DG recording of the Planets and Also Sprach with the Boston Symphony shows him at his best - it is a modern day classic recorded near the end of his career.
But this recording belongs to Milstein, and if you are not familiar with him and love violin playing you could do no better than this issue. And for playing like this the sooner the better! Wonderful CD.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Milstein shines Jan. 15 2007
By Anthony Westgate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
No other violinist has a silvery tone quite like Nathan Milstein. To have a coupling of his recordings of the two greatest violin concertos is a rare treat indeed. His perfomance of the Beethoven is unsurpassed in its lightness of touch - the slow movement really is heavenly!

The orchestral accompaniment is well judged; it's just a shame that, even with digital remastering, it doesn't come over with the quite the depth and clarity of detail of a modern recording. However, given the choice between that and a fine performance, I'll choose the latter every time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweetness and purity of tone allied to scrupulous musicianship Nov. 12 2010
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Let me say that the only reason for my deducting a star from these magical performances is to acknowledge, and warn potential buyers, that they are in mono only. The Beethoven is from 1957 and the Brahms 1954 and thus obviously just before the stereo era; otherwise the sound is very clean and clear and the silver purity of Milstein's totally unfussy playing is more than enough justification for recommending these accounts over modern, stereo recordings, as long as you are tolerant of the cramped acoustic.

I am one of those utterly seduced by Milstein's virtuosity; he possessed a brilliant but never cool tone, impeccable intonation and extraordinary dexterity. The cadenzas are, bravely, his own, but there is nothing of the showman about his approach: his respect for Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra results in a genuine partnership. These are taut, yet lyrical, performances creating exactly the right kind of virile tension these two most masculine of composers demand; no soupy lingering yet many moments of real tenderness, especially when the Brahms moves from the strenuous protestations of the introduction to the first movement into the soaring, stratospheric melody of the first subject. It is in the Brahms in particular that I hear the evidence for the claim that Milstein was the greatest violinist of the 20C; I'm not inclined to argue with that assertion.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful violin July 22 2009
By auteur inconnu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
These comments pertain especially to the Beethoven concerto. The Brahms concerto is very good, too, but I don't have enough comparison recordings to comment seriously.

I agree with the previous reviewer who has listened to them all and still considers Milstein the best. My experience has been much more limited, yet similar. I have had Milstein for some time. Recently I checked the Penguin and Gramophone record guides for their best recommendations on Beethoven's concerto and consequently purchased Szeryng and Zinman.

After several sessions with all three, my impressions were: Milstein's violin is best, truly lyrical and unflappable. And the recording quality of the violin, as well as the balance, which puts the violin out in front, helps us to hear all of its detail and timbre. The other recordings emphasize the orchestra more, both in balance and in range (newer recordings, orchestra has fuller sound), whereby, of these other two, Zinman, in my opinion, is best.

So if you like the orchestra more than the violin, get Zinman. But if you like the violin more, get Milstein.

By the way, although the orchestra doesn't come through quite as much, the sound on the Milstein is nevertheless very good. It's a similar case to that of David Oistrakh, who comes through phenonomenally, even on his Russian monaural recording of the Tchaikovsky concerto.
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