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Violin Concerto [Import]

Jean Sibelius , Osmo Vänskä , Lahti Symphony Orchestra , Leonidas Kavakos Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Leonidas Kavakos
  • Orchestra: Lahti Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Osmo Vänskä
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • Audio CD (November 23, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: BIS
  • ASIN: B0000016GW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,678 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Allegro Moderato
2. II. Adagio Di Molto
3. III. Allegro (Ma Non Tanto)
4. I. Allegro Moderato
5. II. Adagio Di Molto
6. III. Allegro (Ma Non Tanto)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Sibelius recording May 28, 2001
This recording by Leonidas Kavakos is unique in that it is the only recording of the original version of Sibelius's score. The original is longer and includes extended and more virtuosic cadenzas and passage work. Sibelius's revision of the work resulted in some of these sections being cut. This improved the form and structure of each movement and the piece as a whole. Kasvakos's intimate knowledge of both the original and later revised additions enhance his performance immeasurably on this CD. For lovers of this great warhorse, this is without doubt a most worthwhile addition to one's collection. And....... there's the remarkable performance of a stunning, contemporary violinist to boot. We shall be hearing more from Leonidas Kavados!!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performances, second guessing sometimes wrong October 15, 2006
This is a wonderful performance. I strongly disagree with the reviewer who claims that the revised version is infinitely superior to the original, in fact, I find the original preferable. it is more in line with the Sibelius scale and development of his larger works. The cut portions are not insignificant, and I find them to "complete" the work that I always felt was a little too straight forward and not nearly as experimental as Sibelius' other works.

The performances are excellent. Both soloist and orchestra are in top form, with a marvelous direction by one of my new favorite conductors, Osmo Vanska.

As a sound engineer, It continually surprises me how little most of the public knows about the relative sizes of individual instrument's dynamic levels. I wonder if these people ever go to see a symphony orchestra live. The reviewer who claims the soloist is too recessed apparently is unaware just how "small" a violin will sound in a hall with a full orchestra. A solo violin will be buried by an orchestra. The exaggerated
"up close" positioning of a soloist is artificial and inappropriate. This recording balances the soloist and orchestra beautifully. It should be noted however, that it does suffer the exaggerated upper end characteristic of BIS records.

All in all, an excellent recording.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sibelius Violin Concerto Recording Ever May 4, 2004
This Sibelius-Kavakos recording when it was originally released in 1991 was voted:
-"Best Concerto Recording 1991" (GRAMOPHONE Award)
-"Record of the year 1991" (The U.K. Sibelius Society)
-"Pick of the year " (Classic CD, the U.K.)
- Records of the year 1991 ( Helsingin Sanomat)
- The First ever Gold Record of orchestral music: 25.000 copies sold in Finland (8.12.1992)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
BIS, you ROCK!

All music lovers owe you a great debt of gratitude for your ongoing (or recently finished?) "Complete Jean Sibelius Collection" whereby recording every piece written by the composer....what a fabulous thing to do, and of course fitting, from this great Finnish label, honoring the greatest Finnish composer!

What an immeasurably wonderful thing that Kavakos and company have herewith given us a gloriously spectacular presentation of Sibelius' Great Concerto, first presented in it's revised version on Oct 19, 1905, and not only that, but also the composer's original thoughts, first performed in Helsinki on Feb 8, 1904.

I have long loved this stunning concerto, truly one of my most favorite of the genre, and now find that I love the original version nearly as much! It is strangely like running into an old friend from many years ago...familiar, yet strangely "new"...Awesome, for sure!

As always with BIS, the sound is clearly delineated, somewhat "bright" in the upper register, but not annoyingly so. The balance IS correct (contrary to another's complaint of the violin sounding buried spacially). Vanska and the Lahti forces are truly spot-on and wonderful (as always) here, and this man has grown and broadened into one of the finest conductors of today, leading the Minnesota Orchestra and doing wonderful things, including one of the most spectacular Beethoven Symphony cycles ever done. Kovakos is nothing short of Brilliant...absolutely shining in this showpiece spectacular for a virtuoso to display his talent....and; He Does It Twice! If you doubt my words, praising this release, check another review here listing the Honors heaped upon this recording by various organizations and institutions!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential For All Interested In Sibelius December 6, 2009
Unlike most listeners I have a different perspective in that I experienced the Original Version of the Sibelius Violin Concerto before the Revised Version. Understandable since this is the first recording of the Concerto in my collection, purchased in February 1992. I first listened to the two in the order they appear on the CD and so had no attachment to the Revision. Most others become familiar with the Revision over the course of years or even decades before encountering the Original.

They're both masterpieces, incredibly atmospheric and accessible. There was a time when I considered the Original to be superior. This had to do with certain likable elements missing in the Revision. For instance, there is a passage in the Original finale (2:06 of Track 3) where the music just takes flight for a few seconds in a typically Sibelian way. Stirring! There are other cuts that I miss from the Original as well, feeling they add beauty and atmosphere. On the other hand, there are elements in the Original Version such as the embellishments that conclude the Adagio that add little emotionally but detract significantly from structure. So with this give and take I eventually came around to accepting the Revised Version as definitive.

Regardless of which version each listener may think is "better", this is a vitally important recording in that it documents Sibelius' creative process. Here we have a precursor to the transformations found in the different versions of the 5th Symphony, and in Sibelius' compositional style in general. Though the themes, orchestration, and solo writing are not dramatically different in the two versions, the alterations and change in mood are more than minor: The Original is darker, richer and more mysterious. It looked to the past.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sibelius with a Sting
Although I love the orchestral music of Sibelius, I've never really warmed to the Violin Concerto. Oh, I can certainly recognize it as a major work and appreciate it as such, but... Read more
Published 19 months ago by J. R. Trtek
1.0 out of 5 stars Awards beyond my understanding
If you like a violin concerto where the violinist is located somewhere behind the orchestra, buy this disk. Otherwise stay away. Or look elsewhere. Read more
Published 22 months ago by barefoot
4.0 out of 5 stars Sibeliius Violin Concerto in D( original version): Sibelius violin...
Very interesting and informative to be able to compare what Sibelius first created and then improved .Like seeing Rembrandt sketches of figures later to appear in his masterworks. Read more
Published on August 6, 2012 by Donald Barford
4.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the musicians; none for the engineer
These are beautifully played performances, or at least I think they are. Leonidas Kavakos is a brilliant violinist, and he plays here with passion and masterful technique--gorgeous... Read more
Published on June 24, 2012 by J. Nielsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so hot/pretty hot
Don't buy this album (CD) if you live in an apartment: the volume is too loud on the loud parts - but if you keep it at a decent volume that doesn't blast you (and the neighbors)... Read more
Published on November 30, 2011 by JGS
5.0 out of 5 stars A Glimpse into the Composer's Laboratory
I generally agree with the other reviewers' comments, except when some uncritically anoint it as "the greatest". Read more
Published on September 10, 2011 by F. Rupert
5.0 out of 5 stars Sibelius Violin
For a long time a favourite piece by a favourite composer. I remember the day he died (I was on National Service and flags were at half-mast) and realised later that he had written... Read more
Published on April 26, 2009 by Barry M. Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome addition to the library
Really good perfomances.
I would have preferred the versions in reverse order because it is the later version that one most often wants. Read more
Published on February 25, 2009 by D. Coyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Original or Final?
This CD is unique in that it contains the both versions of the Sibelius concerto. In fact, the original version is the first and only (so far) recording of it. Read more
Published on February 8, 2009 by Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a revelation! The Original is far better!
So this recording of both versions shows us that Oistrakh and the others play a "Reader's Digest" version of favorite tunes that Sibelius carved out of his original concerto that... Read more
Published on September 4, 2008 by Rednblu
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