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Brahms: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jan. 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,013 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Repin plays the especially difficult first movement with calm, carefulness and precision. He is able to engage the listener through revealing his passion and commitment in the soloist section. In the high keynote part, he demonstrates his excellent control of the string, thus performing the loud section with a particularly wonderful aesthetic. Equally terrific is the last movement. Repin executes his mastery here to prevent the fast, loud movement from turning into an uncontrolled one.

The orchestra accompanies the soloists beautifully, for instance, in the second movement of the Violin Concerto, the orchestra successfully creates a warning atmosphere and then allows Repin to enter into the music flawlessly. The orchestra's brilliant performance in the slow second movements of both Brahms's works successfully bridges the first and third movements.

After doing a superb job with Beethoven, Repin has further solidified his reputation through Brahms, and one hopes that there is much more terrific collaborative effort to come.
Comment 7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know why exactly, but Brahms recordings are probably the most vulnerable to change in my collection and having grown dissatisfied with the Pentatone pairing of the violin and double concertos I opted for this one after sampling online.

The recording is very brilliant, everything (orchestra, soloists) foregrounded in a way that defies concert hall reality: but so what! This is home listening and I can say confidently you won't sit back and listen indifferently to Repin and Chailly. As someone who has experienced doubts about his own ability to concentrate for the duration of a concerto or an opera, I have found myself consistently interested in everything that is happening in Repin's tussle with the orchestra and I'm delighted to say the partnership with Mork for Brahms' Double Concerto has all the pugnacity of the classic Rostropovich/Oistrakh version.

Given the chance I'd like to hear the Shaham/Abbado disc as well, but until that opportunity comes around I'm recommending the new Repin one to anyone looking for a bold and confident Brahms performance which leaps from the speakers with all the insolence of a pop album.
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Format: Audio CD
Excellent performances of the two concertos, ruined for me by the artificial balance which puts the orchestra in the background and the soloist in your lap! I doubt that I shall play this many times. A great pity. Have the big record companies forgotten how to record properly?
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Format: Audio CD
His performance excels anything I have heard by a violinist in the past few years. It is an absolute joy to listen to his rendition of Brahms' masterpieces or to experience him live on television.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x920d8660) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x913e8a8c) out of 5 stars A top-flight virtuoso in two beautiful concerto performances 17 Mar. 2009
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Vadim Repin, now 37, has just recently gained a big-time recording contract, despite the fact that he won a highly prestigious violin competition, the Queen Elizabeth in Brussels, when he was only seventeen. His relatively slow rise is due to two factors, I think. First, he was lost in the pack of post-Soviet virtuosos drifting to the West, above all by Maxim Vengerov. Second, he's musically cultivated and restrained. We live in an age when young violinists don't aspire to be personalities on the order of Kreisler and Heifetz. In such an undiversified field, it doesn't do enough good simply to possess a sterling technique. Unless you capture the public's imagination the way Joshua Bell, Nigel Kennedy, and Hilary Hahn have done, your rise may be fairly slow.

Although Repin's previous DG release of the Beethoven concerto earned very good reviews, I found it unmemorable. Here he's backed in the Brahms concerto by a newly invigorated Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch. under Riccardo Chailly, whose Brahms symphonies struck me in the past as correct, tidy, and unexciting. How does the combination fare? On the plus side Repin's tone is gorgeously full, storng, and even. He's a Russian fiddler in the grand style. DG's sound is also exemplary -- digital recording has come a long way in capturing the true sound of the violin wihtout shrillness and edginess.

As for the interpretation, Repin hasn't actually changed his spots, nor has Chailly. The first movement, taken in a moderate 22 min., is rather cautious, tidy, and musically correct; it comes as a surprise that Repin makes the rare choice of eschewing the Joachim cadenza for the super-virtuosic one favored by Heifetz. The Adagio is beautifully phrased, beginning with the long oboe solo -- it and Chailly's accompaniment could hardly be better. Repin's entrance is subdued and quite poetic; for the first time he really caught my attention. I like the finale to be vigorous and gypsy-flavored. This performance comes close -- the tempo is lively, and Repin's bow skips freely over the strings, with extremely steady control of double stops. He doesn't build in excitement as he goes, but at least he doesn't fall back, either.

Overall, Repin's technique captures your attention if not necessarily his ideas. Going back to Heifetz with Reiner, Kremer with Bernstein, or Mullova with Abbado, I find this new account less involving, even though it is undeniably shapely and musical; no surprise that Repin early on became a protege of Menuhin's. It deserves five stars for the same reasons that Gil Shaham's refined, sweet-toned reading with Abbado does. That also came out on DG, and what pushed it over the line into being outstanding was the coupling of a masterful Double Concerto.

DG competes with itself by offering the same pairing here, the cellist being Truls Mork, a Norwegian virtuoso who has struck me as decidedly cool in style. In this case, his innate elegance and restraint matches Repin's, and together they give what the British like to call a "positive" interpretation, meaning that they avoid the shadows and melanchily of this autumnal work. Tempos are a fraction faster than with Shaham and his cellist, Jian Wang, and the slow movement lags a bit with Repin and Mork. But both are refined, sensitive readings, but, of course, you get the Berlin Phil. with Shaham, no small advantage.

Weighing everything in the balance, only serious collectors are going to bother with the fine points that separate one excellent recording from another. This is a beautiful CD, and without being the last word in power, originality, or charisma, Repin clearly belongs in the top rank where he has risen.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x913e8ea0) out of 5 stars Mellow, warm, overwhelming Brahms concertos in a super-class interpretation 12 Sept. 2010
By P. Adrian - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two great soloists - violinist Vadim Repin and cellist Truls Mork - paired by an accomplished conductor - Riccardo Chailly - leading a fabulous orchestra - Gewandhaus Leipzig - offer here a splendid rendition of two towering masterpieces of the late Romanticism: Violin Concerto in D major op.77 and Double Concerto for violin and cello in A minor op.102 by Johannes Brahms. As the musicians themselves declare in the accompanying booklet, their artistry proved fully compatible and contributed thus to truly inspired versions of the two splendid works, some symphonies disguised in concertante shape.

The exquisite musicianship of Repin serves in a deeply convincing manner the mellowness and profundity of such a dense music. Listen for instance all the middle Adagio of the Violin Concerto, a lyrical confession of a composer at the crepuscule of his inspiration. How delicate is it shaped by the soloist in calm dialog with the orchestra. Mork is no less appealing in his minutely weighed evolution. He solos with Repin at a high voltage the Double Cioncerto. His contribution to the exotic and rhythmic final movement Vivace non troppo (reminiscent somehow of another fantastic Rondo "a la Zingarese" from the Piano Quartet op.25) is simply haunting and uplifting. Maestro Chailly ties all these ingredients in a unique vision, as to arrange out of them a wonderful bunch of orchids full of Brahmsian aroma.

Five big stars!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x913e8ca8) out of 5 stars Simply outstanding!!! 4 Jun. 2011
By Arthur Craig - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Brahms Violin Concerto is one of my favorite compositions, and I own lots of versions. This one is now my "most very favorite". Not only do Repin and Chailly talk about playing together like a chamber ensemble, but they really do so, and their matching tonality and rhythmic complementarity is just superb. The slow second movement features an exquisite balletic duet for violin and oboe, and many conductors fly by and many soloists don't even try to make it shimmer - even Heifetz! Hilary Hahn and Neville Mariner get it and they come very close, but these two absolutely nail it --- shivers and goose bumps --- and they make many, many other fine moments of musical entwinement as well. They really make Brahms come alive !!! WOW !!! BRAVO !!!
12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x913e8edc) out of 5 stars Brahms's string concertos come to life 9 May 2009
By Eric S. Kim - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Normally, superstar conductors or soloists aren't my primary concerns whenever I purchase a classical CD. I concentrate on the composer's music itself. As long as the people in the recording know the pieces well, I'll have no trouble with the CD. I feel that if the conductor or the soloists take up space on the front cover of the CD, and in the booklet for that matter, then some people would only focus on them rather than the composer or the music itself. But that's just me. If people buy classical recordings just for Joshua Bell or Georg Solti, then that's fine with me. Me, I just focus on the music. Few recordings that I own, however, do rely on the conductor's and soloists' status (such as Charles Dutoit for Respighi's Roman Trilogy, and Joan Sutherland for Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor) but I don't mind them now.

I didn't buy this just because of the brilliant musician Vadim Repin, but I did become interested in the soloists afterwards. As soon as I was finished listening to this CD, I became fully satisfied. Both works by Brahms are handled in an almost flawless manner by Repin, Mork, Chailly, and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. This isn't the first time I've heard Brahms' Violin Concerto; the first recording that I've heard long ago had horrible sound quality and a sloppy orchestra. It was on a cassette tape that is now lost, and I just had to get another recording not just for the nostalgia, but for the relaxation that I got from listening to it. In the 40-minute-long Violin Concerto, Repin really knows this piece well, no doubt about that. The violinist never hesitates, never overblows, and never underplays the emotion that's required. The only problem I had with this was that the violin sometimes overpowers the orchestra: the woodwinds especially are not heard too clearly. But with that aside, I enjoyed it from the first notes to the last.

Now the Double Concerto I have never heard since now, so I don't think I can give it any criticisms. The Scandinavian cellist Truls Otterbech Mork accompanies Repin in this 30+ minute piece. This is a bit less praised than some of the composer's more well-known works. But what you get is 30+ minutes of spectacular music. This was Brahms' final piece for a full orchestra, and it showcases a large portion of his musical genius. Both Repin and Mork perform with both intelligence and polish, and they never try to outdo each other like a drinking game.

Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig give great performances in both pieces. The conductor follows the soloists very well, and the orchestra never fails to impress. I especially love the woodwinds and the brass.

Personally, I prefer this to Claudio Abbado's live recording. I've listened to Abbado's interpretation once (it's not the one from the cassette, I think), and I didn't really like it that much. It's a bit faster, and even a bit more Wagnerian than usual, which doesn't really sound appropriate. I prefer Brahms' music to have a more mellow, more poetic feel to it, which is why I prefer the Chailly/Repin/Mork recording over Abbado/Shaham/Wang.

Grade: A
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