In Queen Victoria's time there was a sentimental craze for all tings Scottish, and Bruch's haunting Scottish Fantasy is the perfect embodiment of it, second only to Sir Walter Scott's novels. But even now, because of the lovely folksongs that Bruch set, this musical evocation of the Highlands can bring a tear. That's what Perlman and Mehta try to do, and I was happy to go along with their sweet, soulful rendition.
Heifetz has always been the gold standard in the Scottish Fantasy, but he sounds aloof and steely by comparison. Even Kyung Wha-Chung's notable account on Decca doesn't come close, because Perlman spins a lyric line and silvery tone that pulls the listener in emotionally more than I've ever heard before. EMI's up-close sound is also very appealing.