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Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Bruch: Scottish Fantasy

3.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 1994
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$8.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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  • Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Bruch: Scottish Fantasy
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  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto / Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 ~ Midori
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Zubin Mehta
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius, Max Bruch
  • Audio CD (September 20, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0000029KZ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,642 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you've only listened to Heifetz's crude interpretation of Sibelius's tempestuous and capricious concerto in the past, you might be incredulous after listening to this CD. "What? This is the Sibelius Concerto? It's a far cry from the one in my memory." After listening to it twice, however, tears should prick your eyes--the result of two gusts of contrasting emotions in one stroke: anguish over all the beauty, passion and subtlety you've missed in the past from this fabulous concerto, and jubilation at your new discovery of this supreme recording and the privilege to relish every bar of the music.
What renders Midori's performance of this formidable piece peerless? First, I know of few other violinists who can toss off the inhuman exigencies--strenuously long passages of octaves and tenths, swift and continuous harmonics, successions of multiple stoppings, and other fingerboard acrobatics--of this piece with nearly diamond-sharp perfection, especially in an unedited live performance. Parts One and Eight of the third movement are particularly of breathtaking accuracy. Incidentally, Sarah Chang and Cho-Liang Lin rival her in this aspect.
But this is not merely a virtuoso showpiece. Midori's infinitely expressive, touching, provocative, and passionate tone, diversified by its kaleidoscopic palette of tonal colors, bestows spellbinding ardour, beauty, charm, sensuality, and warmth to the concerto. Yet her playing is also cogent, commanding, robust, and vigorous when the music demands so.
All the virtues above alone do not make up a musician--only a magician. Yet Midori's musicality and profundity are phenomenal.
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Comment 26 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on October 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Midori's live performance of Sibelius is unbelievable. It shows delicate phrasing, great dynamics and flawless technique. She starts the first movement with thin line... sharp, releatively straight-forward but very sensitive. It sounds like a bird flying in the winter sky, it is so imaginative, but not too overly done. (I find most of performers do too much of nuancing, coloring goin on at the beginning of the first movement.) Her expression is great throughout. Emotionally full bodied, yet it is so sharp that you don't get distracted. Midori is always technicaly flawless and I can say this is the best recording of the Sibelius in live. Zubin Mehta is such a great accompanist here. He is folowing Midori's expression every seconds and let her breathe without getting dull. The little delay of the orchestra in the climax of the 2nd movement is abslutely gorgeous.
One thing is, some of the detail is lost because of the concert hall where recorded. But, hey, think about it, I still listen to Heifetz or Oistrakh's recordings. This is still a better condition than their old recordings. By the way, if you wanna listen to some of great Sibelius, I recommend those guys (Heifetz and Oistrakh) also.
Scottish Fantasy here is also beautiful and enjoyable. Here too, Midori is technically superb and I can't say more to praise her performance. Her live performance is always a treat.
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Format: Audio CD
Sibelius' violin concerto is the most beautiful concerto to me. I have listened to a lot of recordings of this concerto, and this live recording was such a shock. This girl has no fear. She plays forward with great force and speed, making the music so clear with eye-popping bowing. With Midori, music never gets dull, but also nothing is taken for granted. She is technically complete, and her perfectly balanced tone between speed and density reminds me of Heifetz, but she does not hurry to kill the detail. Her music is fully formed with perfectly controlled timing. She knows the importance of blank and silence so well, and clearly differentiates her music from Heifetz and all other violinists. Midori is truely one of the greatest violinists today. Mehta's support is really clear, direct and fully balanced. Mehta and Midori are in a perfect pitch. I should say, this is very modern performance of Sibelius.
Bruch's Scottish Fantasy is also such a treat. This makes a nice coupling for me since I love Scottish Fantasy much better than his 2 violin concertos. Midori is perfectly controlled as always, but also I was amazed by how positive the music sounds with Midori. She creates such a clear statement. It is so refreshing to hear something clear and direct, which you can rarely hear today.
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Format: Audio CD
Midori's poise and delivery are technically perfect, a talent that is often under-rated despite this artist's complete devotion to craft. She fills each line with understated passion that may be easy to miss if this disk is used as background music. It deserved full attention and rewards the listener with technical and artistic excellence.
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Format: Audio CD
The Sibelius VC has got to be the perfect Concerto. It has supreme depth, emotion, eerieness, brilliance, melody - everything !. Contrast it to the Tchaikovsky which is very melodic and pretty but it lacks depth.
Back to Midori, she plays the Sibelius as beautifully as it can be played..she must possess artistic subtlety and nuance to the 100th degree, unbelievable..I've listened to all of the great soloists play this piece but Midori gets more out of it..And the adagio ? it can't be played with any more emotion, depth, and understanding than by the young Midori..I've heard Stern play it and it just can't be the same adagio..Midori seems to have captured the essence Sibelius intended - strange at times but also extremely beautiful.
What else can I say about Midori ? There can't be too many other
perfect violinists (Heifetz is one for sure) but none surpass Midori technically and artistically.
She's got to be one of the top 2 or 3 of all time..
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Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Bruch: Scottish Fantasy
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