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Brahms / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos Hybrid SACD - DSD, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Original recording remastered, July 26, 2005
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Frequently Bought Together

Brahms / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos + Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D / Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor + Heifetz / Sibelius / Prokofiev / Glazunov: Concertos
Price for all three: $35.36

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Product Details

  • Performer: Jascha Heifetz
  • Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Fritz Reiner
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (July 26, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B0009U55RE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,596 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77: Allegro non troppo
2. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77: Adagio
3. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77: Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace
4. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: Allegro moderato
5. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: Canzonetta: Andante
6. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: Allegro vivacissimo

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
79%
4 star
21%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 19 customer reviews
This SACD is one of six that I own of this RCA series.
ArtGriggs
The LP was good, then the first 1980's CD incarnation was dreadful--so bad that I think the engineers made a fundamental equalization error.
F. Rupert
I think anyone who admires this piece should hear more than one recording.
W. Chiles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on May 1, 2006
While I believe the Brahms violin concerton is the "Emporer" of violin concertos -- principally for its well-developed architecture -- I never cared much for Heifitz's version of the concerto. Although his early stereo recording with the Chicago Symphony and Reiner was played up to his standard, I always thought their collaboration produced an impatient recording, as if they couldn't get it finished quickly enough.

What a difference SACD makes! Now, when I listen to this work, I have a much different reaction. Hearing Heifitz located on the stage just a few steps from where Reiner is leading his band, this now sounds to me more impassioned than ever before, as if the chemistry between the two highly driven performers and the virtuoso orchestra resulted in a fast reading that was driven by a burning passion and not impatience.

So what happened; does the SACD recording show a different reality or did I just get older and appreciate the greatness of these performers more in my maturity?

I think both things happened. I know I appreciate Heifitz a lot more in SACD than I ever did in stereo and the sound on this SACD -- especially when I listen with headphones -- brings dimension to the recording that never existed before. It also shows the level of detail Reiner required from his orchestra and its ability to meet his technical demands.

I enjoyed the Tchaikovksy concerto that is mated with the Brahms here but less so. The chemistry doesn't seem to be the same between the partners, who were both high profile literalits in mid 20th century. Their collective insistence on literalism probably took some of the Slavic character away from the Tchaikovsky concerto, making it another top European concerto from the late Romantic period instead of an individual opus.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 29, 2006
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The violini is the most difficult instrument to record, and when digital sound came in during the Eighties, music lovers were dismayed by the edgy, glassy harshness of violin recordings, both solo and orchestral. Compared to the warmer, more natural sound of the best LPs, the advent of CDs was a huge step backward. Upgrades into 20-bit and 24-bit technology improved matters somewhat, but only now, with SACD, are we back to violin recordings that don't make you wince.

This classic pairing of Brahms and Tchaikovsky concertos with Heifetz and Reiner was always in good sound, despite the early recording dates, 1955 and 1957 respectively (the Tchaikovsky being the far superior one sonically). I bought this hybrid SACD to play in normal two-channel CD format, and it is impeccable. There is still a hint of wiriness in Heifetz's tone in the Brahms, but the Tchaikovsky sounds completely natural. Heifetz is far from my favorite violinist, but he deserves the best sound possible, and for the time being at least, he has it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By P. H. on November 13, 2008
Tchaikovsky aspired to be the Russian Beethoven. More than any other pairing, Heifetz and Reiner understand this and perform the violin concerto accordingly. With admirable virtuoso playing by the Chicago Symphony and sound that is very accurate for Orchestra Hall at the time this recording was made, this is an astonishing document. As a bonus, you will enjoy Conti's reference to the concerto's first movement in his music for "The Right Stuff," Reiner/Chicago make this abundantly clear. No other recording of this concerto comes remotely close to the power of this one. And Heifetz, unlike the majority of other famous violinists, plays all the notes, in tune, in tempo, including the last two (no falsetto here)! A fitting testament to the Orchestra Hall performances I saw with Heifetz performing; my personal favorite and a real barn-burner.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By F. Rupert on February 16, 2010
This couples two of the big four violin concertos (the others being Beethoven and Mendelssohn). For many years I've owned the various incarnations of the 1955 Heifetz Brahms, from LP to CD to this one. The LP was good, then the first 1980's CD incarnation was dreadful--so bad that I think the engineers made a fundamental equalization error. Later in the 80's it reappeared on CD with the good sound of the LP restored. This transfer is pretty wonderful. Heifetz's sound is a bit closely miked, and as a result could sound, as another reviewer called it, wiry. To me (I play the violin) the wiriness is just the brilliance and sizzle of horsehair on the string you hear when you're playing a violin.

This Brahms shows off why other violinists, even the greatest, remain in awe of Heifetz. Example 1: after the cadenza in the 1st movement, he plays the final iteration of the main theme, high up on the top string, with a vibrance and beauty of sound that no other violinist I have heard can duplicate. Most moving. Example 2: the entire second movement and for much the same reason. Superb placement and architecture of the musical line, delivered with aplomb, no technical insecurity whatever, and with glorious tone. Heifetz obviously thought deeply about this movement and delivers a matchless account of it. I recognize that some will find the whole concerto somewhat fast. I did too, but now everybody else sounds draggy.

I am less happy with the sound of the Tchaikovsky. Yes, this is the best incarnation available of Heifetz's 1957 recording, but to me it still sounds a bit dry and boxy. That said, there are still those spots where other players can't touch him. The man had an unrivaled ability to maintain vibrance and beauty of sound in very rapid passages, all the way up to the very highest notes. There are a number of places in the 1st movement that show this gift to great advantage.

So buy it. Worth owning!
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