I have owned and cherished this incredible live recording of Beethoven's violin concerto since its release in 1989. I would even go so far as to assert that this recording surpasses Perlman's earlier recording with Giulini in every respect. In terms of sound quality, orchestra-soloist-conductor report (The Berliner Philharmoniker, Barenboim and Perlman are simply staggering here), and that elusive, unexplainable "rightness" that pervades the first self-assured timpani strokes right through to the final longing phrases of the 2nd Violin Romance, this is surely an even greater "Recording of the Century"!
I have heard and been roundly disappointed with at least a dozen other recordings of this repertoire, all of which fell shamefully short of the daunting mark laid down by this miracle of the fledgling digital age.
As I have recently discovered, it's so very simple to find joy: Come to the inevitable conclusion that Itzhak Perlman is the greatest violinist to ever hold a Stradivarius, acquire as many of his EMI and DG recordings as you possibly can, and live in unparalleled virtuoso violin happiness for the rest of your days.
If live recordings have been a past concern, you may rest assured that this is one of the most well behaved (and fortunate!) audiences never heard on CD... that is until the triumphant conclusion of this masterful performance in which they all - men, women, children, great-grandparents and all! - erupt into a standing ovation that will simply shake the rafters above your listening room... and you will find yourself wanting desperately to join in the ruckus. Warm-heartedly recommended!