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Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto [Hybrid SACD - DSD]

Tchaikovsky , Michael Tilson Thomas , Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra , Joshua Bell Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Price: $11.12 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto + Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Op. 64 / Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61 + Romance of the Violin
Price for all three: $32.60

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Product Details

  • Performer: Joshua Bell
  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Composer: Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (September 20, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000AY9OHQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,002 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35
2. I. Allegro moderato Album Version 19:32
3. II. Canzonetta. Andante
4. III. Finale. Allegro vivacissimo
5. Méditation in D minor, Op. 42, No. 1
6. Danse russe from Swan Lake, Op. 20 (Act III

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Joshua Bell's Finest Recordings October 6, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Joshua Bell has been capturing the hearts and applause of audiences around the world for a the past several years, striding out on stage with his handsome and elegant appearance and playing a very wide repertoire of violin concerti with involvement and musicality. In this recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major all of his positive attributes are now enhanced with a lush, even tone and an intimate approach to one of the violin blockbuster pieces. It is a wholly successful venture.

Bell continues to grow as an artist and much of that growth comes in the quality of tone he now produces. It is creamy where called for and crisp and incisive when challenged. His approach to the Tchaikovsky is a passionate one, though without the overplaying that creeps into so many other violinist's readings. He is well supported by the Berlin Philharmonic under the warmly compatible leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas. This is a Tchaikovsky concerto performance to cherish.

Adding to the recording are three well selected works by Tchaikovsky - the playful 'Danse Russe' from 'Swan Lake', 'Meditation, in D major', and 'Serenade melancolique, for violin & orchestra in B minor'. They are beautifully performed and feel like well-deserved encores to the concerto! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 05
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86 of 104 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars for interpretation, sound and packaging August 31, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The reviews here of this performance remind me of the reviews a few years back of a woman's rendition of a couple Bach cantatas. They focused on the beauty of her singing and nothing else.

As I said then, classical music collectors traditionally want more than a good performance, which in the CD era are a dime a dozen. To spend money on a full-price CD -- or, in this case, a $10-$16 CD -- buyers want not only performance but truthful sound and packaging that meets their needs.

In this recording, the interpretation is brilliant, the recording is magnificent but hardly truthful, and the packaging borders on failure. First, Bell's interpreation, captured from a January 2005 concert recording in the Berlin Philharmonie.

Bell, who is among the most precocious of today's young wunderkinds, is so different here from his recording of the Beethoven and Mendelssohn concertos that he appears to be a different person. He even looks like a different person on the CD cover and inside pages (more on that later.)

His playing eshcews the fire and brimstone violinists have portrayed in this most romantic of concertos. In its place, Bell substitutes unTchaikovskyian subtlety, lingering rhapsody, and portamento on distended themes in his near 20-minute operning Allego moderato. This not only changes the character of the score marking to Adagio, it creates a different concerto than many have ever heard.

His approach is detailed in the notes and maybe best described when Linda Kobler says: "Bell compares the concerto's strenuous non-stop soloist's playing to 'running the four minute mile.' Its (the concerto's) brilliant execution is still, however, the sine qua non of great violin playing."

Does it succeed? That depends on your perspective.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different interpretation...... September 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I was very excited to hear Joshua Bell was rerecording the Tchaikovsky and rushed out to buy a copy of this CD the day it was released. Maybe it's due to my high expectations, but after listening to it I was slightly disappointed. In the cover notes it discusses how Joshua wanted to make a more "intimate" recording. I think he succeeds on that point. The second and third movements are magnificant, and his sound is very full and played with absolute precision. In fact, I would go as far as saying the second movement is as good as I've heard in any recording of the Tchaikovsky.

My main complaint is with the 1st movement (allegro moderato). In an effort to make it more intimate he has slowed it down to the point that it really seems to drag. It's about half a minute longer than the first movement in his 1988 recording, but to be honest it seems much longer. I've always viewed the first movement as being more of an orchestral piece than a violin solo, and because the solo parts are slower, the speed of the orchestra seems ponderous and lacks life. The third movement is a full minute longer than his 1988 recording. However, I don't think it's as noticeable because the third movement is sometimes played too fast anyway, and I think slowing it down allows the audience to hear the notes better. This is not neccessary with the first movement, because it generally has a slower pace and longer notes to begin with.

You can understand how someone like Joshua Bell, who has already recorded most of the standard repertoir, may want to challenge himself and the audience by trying different interpretations of the standard violin fare.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joshua Bell Reinterprets A Beloved Concerto October 26, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It used to be easy to dismiss Joshua Bell. True, he has always been a talented musician, but in the early years of his career, his publicists seemed more intent on selling his image rather than his ability. Of course this is nothing new. It happened in past generations, it happens today, and will happen in the future. While many of the young superstars tend to fizzle, Joshua Bell has not and has shifted from being a kid with talent to a young musician who has something significant to contribute to classical music, a musician who cannot be ignored by audiences or critics.

For this recording, Bell has selected one of his favorites, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. This is not his first recording of the work, but he has said in interviews it is one of his favorite pieces and he likes to explore ways of nuancing his interpretations. This is the case in this recording. Bell gives a solid performance of the work and since it is a live recording, there is a certain intensity not always found in studio recordings. There are two studio recorded pieces included on the disc: The Meditation in D Minor and the Russian Dance from SWAN LAKE. The Meditation provides the listener another opportunity to hear Bell's sumptuous playing and the Russian Dance gives him the opportunity to display the musical fireworks he can employ to thrill an audience. The Berlin Philharmonic is under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Thomas' conducting is more subdued than other well known Berlin Philharmonic conductors of the past, namely Karajan and Bohm, but it seems as if he does so to bring out the soloist's gifts. Unfortunately, the orchestral playing does not match the excitement of Bell's playing at some points in the Concerto and in the Russian Dance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance.
Tchaikovsky's violin concerto is sublime expression of beauty, cadence , melody and composition. Joshua Bell is one the most qualified performers. An excellent selection. .
Published 1 month ago by Rodrigo M.
4.0 out of 5 stars unique interpretation
Having listened to the Isaac Stern recording all my life, this is a nice contrast. This is one of the most often recorded (and butchered) pieces around. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PL
5.0 out of 5 stars They are very good goods.
They are very good goods.

They are very good goods thank you.
I have you correspond also to overseas dispatch -- thank you, it is.
Published 3 months ago by toshinori aoki
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Simply an amazing performance for this classic. I've seen Joshua perform this in person an the CD brings those memories right back
Published 4 months ago by D. Frasier
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps not for those seeking traditional interpretation
As title says, those traditionalists may not like the arrangement, I'll even go so far as to say it "drifts" a bit on the long solos, away from the dramatic Tchaikovsky... Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. A Harring
5.0 out of 5 stars Tchiakovsky Violin Concerto
I heard Joshua Bell play this with the Minnesota Orchestra. Fabulous rendition! Just think what he will be at 50!
Published 10 months ago by Radoko
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL TEAM
How could Tchaikovsky, Joshua Bell and Michael Tilson Thomas fail to produce anything less than 5 stars. It is pure pleasure.
Published 14 months ago by Virginia M. Ober
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music
Excellent musical score and Bell's performance was also very good. Nice for background music or for listening for enjoyment's sake, but beware: it is too dramatic for a good... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars YES
JB is a brilliant player and the recording quality is fine....what's not to like? Yes, the fiddle rules when it is at it's favorite Tchaikovsky violin concerto...
Published 16 months ago by vetsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Joshua Bell Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Superb recording - ideal when feeling less than, really perks me up and the price and quality of recording worth purchasing. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Henry Coyle
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Topic From this Discussion
can this CD be played in a computer with a CD/DVD rom drive??
yes it is playable in SACD and in CD drives. Computers have cd or cd/dvd drives - at least as far as I know. No computers I know of have SACD drives.
Jul 11, 2006 by DKDC |  See all 2 posts
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