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Violin Concerto Import

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Audio CD, Import, March 2, 2004
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1. Violin Concerto In B Minor, Op.61: I. Allegro - Kennedy
2. Violin Concerto In B Minor, Op.61: II. Andante - Kennedy
3. Violin Concerto In B Minor, Op.61: III. Allegro Molto - Cadenza (Accompagnata: Lento) - Allegro Molto (Tempo I) - Kennedy

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 2, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Class. for Pleas. Us
  • ASIN: B00005YU9O
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,179,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on September 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Nigel Kennedy has reinvented his image nearly as often as Madonna has. This performance dates from 1984 when, if I recall accurately, he was still in his punk phase, but on the liner he is referred to simply and grandly as `Kennedy', in much the way one might refer to Heifetz. In my own opinion he is just as entitled to this uninominal styling and, in my own opinion again, he plays this great concerto better than Heifetz himself does.

Quite possibly indeed he plays it better than anyone does. I continue to like and admire my LP version from Zuckerman with Barenboim and the same orchestra as Kennedy has here, but this account has something special about it. Moreover here it is on a budget label, and that finally propels it to the top of my own choices among current versions that I know. Elgar's violin concerto to me is a very great piece of music indeed. It is on an epic scale for a concerto - well over 50 minutes in length, with outer movements (particularly the last) as long as typical movements in the Mahler symphonies and a slow movement on the scale of the very largest by Beethoven or Mozart. Among concertos for the violin I personally rate it second only to Brahms's, meaning by that soberly and literally that I rate it ahead of Beethoven's. It is not an easy work from either the technical or the interpretative point of view. Its very length is one problem, notably in the last movement where the so-called `cadenza' taking more than half the duration of the movement - a quiet interlude at a slow tempo largely harking back to the material of the first movement - needs the right kind of player if it is going to make the right kind of impact. In this performance it goes off very well indeed, starting with the famous but quiet `pizzicato tremolo' effect clearer than it often is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This disc has now been remastered to great effect and is far superior as sound to the original CFP issue advertised here
In addition the new mastering has added further material.
The review for the same performance but in the remastered version is copy-pasted as follows:

...........................
The new remastered version of this disc

This disc couples Handley's Introduction and Allegro from 1983 with Kennedy's first recording of the concerto from 1984. Both originally appeared on budget priced EMI discs with the concerto achieving near cult status at that time. The Introduction and Allegro was originally coupled with Falstaff and is still in my collection. The concerto was finally deleted because of inferior sound which did not compete with the several later recordings of note from other violinists including himself with Rattle. This remastered version has greatly improved the sound by adding considerable presence, depth of field etc. and so once more, this disc enters my catalogue as a serious contender.

Getting the additional Introduction and Allegro out of the way first, all that needs to be said is that Handley gives a strong and idiomatic reading along the lines of Boult. The recording is very good and improved as above when compared to the previous issue.

Handley is a key factor when considering the two versions of this concerto by Kennedy. He has the full measure of the orchestral requirements and is not distracted from maintaining the forward momentum by investigating interesting sidelines en route. This in turn is an encouragement for Kennedy to keep moving, except of course, at the points where there is a genuine need to adopt a more relaxed pace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. F. Laurson on December 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I am no particular fan of Nigel Kennedy, even as I appreciate his new infatuation with romantic Polish composers from afar. But he owns the huge Elgar Violin concerto - and if a top choice would have to be made, it would be between his own two, inspired, accounts of it. This one is the first, with Handley and the London Philharmonic is from 1984 - the other from 1997 with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Between the free-wheeling re-make (from a time when the soloist insisted being called just "Kennedy") and the attuned, precise, and generous Handley reading, the unbeatable price of this Classics for Pleasure re-issue might make the difference. Handley offers no filler, Rattle a leaden Lark (barely) Ascending.

Another splendid version worth checking out is the recent Shaham/Zinman collaboration (CSO, no less!) on Canary Records.
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