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Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Bruch: Violin Concerto Import

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 30, 1990
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  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Bruch: Violin Concerto
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gil Shaham
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli
  • Composer: Mendelssohn, Bruch
  • Audio CD (March 30, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GB8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,395 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Gil Shaham's performance of the Bruch Concerto has no competetion. It is simply sublime. His performance of the Mendelssohn Concerto is also outstanding, nudging out my previous favorite -- the superb performance by Frank Peter Zimmermann which, regretably, is currently out of print. Shaham is an excellent violinist with a uniquely gorgeous tone. Some of his recent performances, while gorgeously played, have disappointed me somewhat artistically. But not this album (which I believe was his debut recording). This is one of the two or three greatest violin recordings I have ever heard.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the finest recordings of the Bruch violin concerto (#1). I think it ranks up there with the Heifetz/Sargent. Of course Heifetz takes each movement a bit faster, but the slightly slower tempos do not make much difference (unlike in many Brahms vl.c. recordings.) The sound quality is much better, with good balance, and the orchestra playing is smooth and fluid and clear. Some recordings like Perlman/Haitink seem to have very bombastic orchestral entrances at some places. That is not the case here - Sinopoli is exciting without beating you upside the head.

As for Shaham, he is also very good - no technical problems, and a very clear silky sound. He is not as melodramatic as Mutter (which seems too unruly/melodramatic to me), but this is a romantic intrepretation nonetheless. There is some very interesting, dramatic sliding in the first movement (around 4'20?) before the big orchestral entrance - I've never heard anyone do that before. Definitely worth checking out.
The Mendelssohn I would give four stars - the first movement seems a little slow and less inspired. The second movement is beautiful, but once again, the third is not so exciting as in the Bruch. Perhaps it is that Shaham seems a little heavy handed - there are more sprightly readings out there. I like a Milstein or Menuhin better for the Mendelssohn. This is still a fine recording, but after the Bruch it seems anticlimactic.
So I recommend the CD - Heifetz fans can stick with Heifetz if they want, but anyone looking for a good modern recording of the Bruch should try this one.
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Format: Audio CD
These are sensuous recordings. Shaham plays with both technical fire and (especially in the Mendelssohn) pleasing sweetness. The orchestra -- large and lush in the Bruch, a bit more restrained in the Mendelssohn -- plays with discipline, precision, and power, and the sonics are very satisfying. These surely count as exemplary if not definitive modern renditions of these two classic concerti.
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Format: Audio CD
Not for a long time have we had such a brilliant collaboration as that between Gil Shaham and the late Giuseppe Sinopoli. (Rostropovich made a fine, sympathetic podium partner for Vengerov, but Sinopoli is a much better conductor in standard non-Russian repertoire.) On this CD, Sinopoli's startling drama in the Bruch is something I've never heard the likes of. There is such sweep and passion that you hear the work as having much more emotional depth than before. Shaham keeps pace with a powerful reading full of nuance and original thoughts on a thrice-familiar work. Maxim Vengerov has a towering recording of the Bruch on Teldec with Masur (where the soloist is miked more clesly than here), but this one is worthy to stand alongside.

On that Teldec CD Vengerov's Mendelssohn concerto felt a bit careful, with less than vivacious conducting. Shaham begins with a delibreate first movement that's almost 2 min. slower, expressing his intent to give us weightier Mendelssohn than the airy, mercurial variety we're used to. In keeping with that, his tone is big and he plays with broad phrasing. The Andante is also slow and deeply felt. I was happy to go along with the interpretation as long as the finale brought in a flood of light and fancy for contrast. It doesn't quite. Shaham chooses not to be sprightly but to remain a bit straight-faced--even so, one can't overlook his exceptional ability to communicate. Call it a tie with Vengerov.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording was the first I ever heard of the Bruch Concerto and it is without a doubt, my favourite. Sinopoli's deliberate tempi allow Shaham to shine in one of the most breautiful and romantic violin concertos ever written.
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