Originally recorded in 1981, digitally remastered in 1988, and reissued here in 2010, Perlman's recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Carlo Maria Giulini and the Philharmonia Orchestra needs little introduction for collectors. For listeners seeking their first recording of this seminal work, Perlman and Giulini offer one of the most solid, reliable readings of the concerto available.
The Goldmark A minor Concerto inspired what was surely Nathan Milstein's finest hour in the recording studio, a reading of the utmost refinement: warm, effortlessly brilliant and displaying that unmistakably suave, silken tone. The work itself which is perhaps just a trifle overlong recalls both Reger and Dvorak, with wistful melodies, lilting rhythms and much busy counterpoint (principally in the outer movements).
Frank Peter Zimmermann demonstrates his love for the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his second installment of the violin concertos on Hänssler Classic. The Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 211, the Turkish-flavored Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, and the Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major, K. 364 complete the series and make a satisfying program, while Zimmermann's polished and lively playing complements his fine work on the first volume.
Leave it to Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony to deliver one of the more impressive classical discs of 1999: a pairing of the violin concertos of John Adams and Philip Glass. Hearing the works of these two American music mavericks side-by-side is a study in contrasts: Adams's postmodernist composition from 1993 is filled with spooky overtones, as the violin threads its way through the piece, always at the forefront.
It's probably unfair to compare Sergey Khachatryan's 2006 recording of Shostakovich's violin concertos accompanied by Kurt Masur leading the Orchestre National de France with David Oistrakh's classic recordings of the works: the 1956 Mitropoulos/New York Philharmonic First and the 1967 Kondrashin/ Moscow Philharmonic Second.
This performance takes the music seriously, and Fischer more than holds her own in the outer movements where the violin needs to be able to confront the orchestra fearlessly in their ongoing dialog. In the lengthy andante, once again Fischer projects passion and sincerity without excessive histrionics.
This sparkling suite for violin and piano came into being when the composer had to adapt his incidental score for a production of Shakespeare's play to the impending absence of the chamber orchestral. The result is a brilliant piece for violin and piano, which the composer quickly released in a four-movement version. There are other recordings of the chamber orchestra suite in five-movements that duplicate only three of the movements of this version. Violinist Gil Shaham and pianist André Previn are ideal partners in this brilliant performance. The four movements allow Shaham to show four sides of his violinist's personality: He skips and plays in carefree fashion in the opening movement, indulges in the grotesquery and parody of the second, gets to play the romantic in the garden scene of the third movement, and dazzles with virtuosity in the final hornpipe. Previn's part is more than mere accompaniment; the piano often has a large part of the mood of the music and his contribution is, to use a word already employed here, ideal.