- 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: #256,247 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Violin Concerto Import
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
-"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)
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!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on January 1, 2013 by J. R. Trtek
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 morePublished on October 8, 2012 by barefoot
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 morePublished on August 6, 2012 by Donald Barford
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 morePublished on June 24, 2012 by J. Nielsen
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 morePublished on November 30, 2011 by JGS
I generally agree with the other reviewers' comments, except when some uncritically anoint it as "the greatest". Read morePublished on September 10, 2011 by F. Rupert
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 morePublished on April 26, 2009 by Barry M. Wilson
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
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 morePublished on February 8, 2009 by Young