Violin Concertos Import
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|1. CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA NO. 1 IN D, OP. 19: I. Andantino|
|2. CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA NO. 1 IN D, OP. 19: II. Scherzo. Vivacissimo|
|3. CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA NO. 1 IN D, OP. 19: III. Moderato|
|4. Concerto For Violin And Orchestra No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 63: I. Allegro Moderato|
|5. Concerto For Violin And Orchestra No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 63: II. Andante assai|
|6. Concerto For Violin And Orchestra No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 63: III. Allegro, ben marcato|
|7. Concerto In D For Violin And Orchestra: I. Tocatta|
|8. Concerto In D For Violin And Orchestra: II. Aria I|
|9. Concerto In D For Violin And Orchestra: III. Aria II|
|10. Concerto In D For Violin And Orchestra: IV.Capriccio|
Cho-Liang Lin's performances of these two attractive violin concertos have been almost unanimously praised since they first came out (nothing in the classical music business is completely unanimous!), and the Stravinsky coupling makes this disc an excellent value for the money. The two composers couldn't be further apart stylistically. Prokofiev continues to mine the great Russian Romantic tradition, aided by his wonderfully personal melodic gift. All of Stravinsky's best tunes, by contrast, were borrowed from someone else. His dry, witty, neo-classicism sounds like a cold shower after his compatriot's warmth, but it's first rate entertainment all the same. The digital sound is great , too. --David Hurwitz
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I would raise this account of the two Prokofiev concertos above Perlman's EMI versions, in fact, because the sonics from Sony are superb, and Salonen, a committed Prokofiev conductor, offers the best accompaniments I've ever heard. The venue is acoustically superior (Royce Hall at UCLA), and the 20-bit format affords total clarity, with unusually realistic violin tone. As far as interpretation goes, Cho-Liang is powerful, assured, and extrovert. He provides the hushed atmosphere required in the opening of the First concerto, but in both Shcerzos he avoids the biting satire and edgy slashes that other, more daring performers favor (e.g., Leila Josefowicz), falling closer to a sweet-toned Joshua Bell and Gil Shaham. But those are superficial characteristics. What's so remarkable here is the close affinity between soloist and conductor, which makes both works sound like Prokofiev symphonies with violin obbligato. The same smoothness and power is applied to the Stravinsky concerto, which feels not quite right given the composer's preference for a drier, more detached style. On the ohter hand, in its romanticized way, this is a gripping performance, too.
Whatever small reservations one might have, here is superlative playing from an overlooked virtuoso with music in his viens.
Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 is the less performed of the two and in many ways that position of importance should be reversed! Though the Second concerto is rich with melody and characteristic of Prokofiev's mature compositional skills and excruciating demands on the soloist, the First concerto contains moments of musical dichotomy and cultural/sociopolitical clash that informed Prokofiev's creation of the work in the stormy year of 1917. It is all here: the bristling motoric changes in tempi and the testy atonality of the new music of the era are equally balanced with some of the most 'Russian' of folk melodies and passion. Technically challenging while demanding in heart, Lin gives it his all, allowing his incomparable virtuosity to enhance the moments of soaring beauty of line with a tone so rich it feels like cream. His performance of the Second concerto is equally exciting: he is ever in control of the demonic lines while allowing the pulsating melodic lines to flow with natural, almost ethereal grace.
Lin's (and Salonen's for that matter) affinity for Stravinsky has never been better served than in his impeccable performance of the Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra. He understands the bite, acerbic wit, and neoclassical aspects of this challenging work like few others. And here again, as with the Prokofiev works, Salonen and the LA Phil provide synchronous collaboration with that is exceptional and exciting. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, January 06