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Barber / Maxwell Davies: Violin Concertos

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Audio CD, July 25, 1995
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. I. AllegroLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic;Isaac Stern10:12Album Only
  2. II. AndanteLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic;Isaac Stern 8:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14: III. Presto in motoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic;Isaac Stern 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: I. Allegro moderatoIsaac Stern;Royal Philharmonic Orchestra;André Previn16:43Album Only
  5. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: II. AdagioIsaac Stern;Royal Philharmonic Orchestra;André Previn 6:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: III. Allegro non troppoIsaac Stern;Royal Philharmonic Orchestra;André Previn 7:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Composer: Barber, Maxwell Davies
  • Audio CD (July 25, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002A8M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,255 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on May 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Issac Stern-Leonard Bernstein collaboration of Barber's wonderful Violin Concerto has stood the test of time to defeat the best of today's young violinists -- including Hilary Hahn and Joshua Bell -- and the biggest names in the business -- Shahan and Perlman -- and some others -- Oliveira and McDuffie -- to retain the title of greatest recording of the Barber concerto.

Stern's understanding of the score and Bernstein's white hot conducting make a pairing the newer recordings can't match, good as many of them are. I greatly enjoyed Hahn, Shahan and Oliveira but these performances receive less insightful support than Bernstein and New York Philharmonic provide for Stern. Bernstein, who collaborated on recordings with Barber, understood the dramatic nature of his music better than most contemporaries, who viewed it as essentially lyrical.

Even though the forward placement of the soloist dates the Stern, the rapport between soloist and conductor helps maintain its place as the classic rendering of the score, exceeding the scope and detail of today's recordings, though without the warmth of Hahn's rendering and the technical prowess of Shahan's CD, which most closely approximates the drama of this one and has the added benefit of containing a fine recording of the Korngold concerto.

The Maxwell Davies concerto added little to this CD and has rightfully been discarded in later couplings. This hybrid of 20th century nature ideas has little lasting effect for the listener. The concerto is better represented when mated on a Bernstein heritage disk with Lenny's hyperemotional reading of the "Adagio for Strings" or its Sony coupling with Barber's cello and piano concertos by Ma and Browning.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Volume 13 of the "Isaac Stern: A Life in Music" series focuses on two 20th Century Violin Concertos -- those of Samuel Barber and Peter Maxwell Davies. Albert Spalding with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy premiered the Barber, the better known of the two, in 1941. Stern's account is a 1964 stereo recording with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned the Maxwell Davies in 1985, which was dedicated to Stern and it was he who gave the first performance on June 21, 1986. Two days later, Stern entered the studio with Andre Previn and the RPO to record the performance featured on this disc. Despite the fact that these recordings are separated by more than twenty years, the sound (even though one is analog and the other digital) and Stern's playing on both are remarkably consistent and thoroughly enjoyable. My only problem with this CD is that this very same recording of the Barber VC is included on the Barber title in the Bernstein Century series. I know that Stern's series and Lenny's series are apples and oranges, but serious collectors are bound to get both and as a result have unwanted and unnecessary duplication. Shame on you Sony -- you could have come up with a better solution!
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Barber / Maxwell Davies: Violin Concertos
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