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  • Jean Sibelius / Carl Nielsen - Violin Concertos
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Jean Sibelius / Carl Nielsen - Violin Concertos

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Sept. 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Teldec
  • ASIN: B000000S94
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47 : I Allegro moderatoMaxim Vengerov16:28£1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47 : II Adagio di moltoMaxim Vengerov 8:59£0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47 : III Allegro, ma non tantoMaxim Vengerov 7:50£0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Violin Concerto Op.33 : I Praeludium - LargoMaxim Vengerov 6:42£0.89  Buy MP3 
  5. Violin Concerto Op.33 : II Allegro cavallerescoMaxim Vengerov13:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Violin Concerto Op.33 : III Poco adagioMaxim Vengerov 6:25£0.89  Buy MP3 
  7. Violin Concerto Op.33 : IV Rondo - Allegretto scherzandoMaxim Vengerov10:10£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Nov. 2009
Format: Audio CD
In the accompanying sleeve-notes, Vengerov says that Barenboim introduced a way into the Sibelius concerto that was authentic. One questions, therefore, whether Vengerov's interpretation is naturally his own. Is Vengerov a natural Sibelian? Alas, if this performance is evidence, I sense that Sibelius is too austere for Vengerov's taste.

That's not to say that Vengerov performs badly. As arguably the greatest concert violinist in the world today, it would be impossible for him to be merely mediocre. (I speak from personal experience; his performance of Shostakovich's first violin concerto is unbeatable and worthy of the standing ovations he has received.) Overall, it's a polished performance and technically faultless, but with Sibelius Vengerov is wrong to play the showman with his violin way too far in the foreground and the orchestra by default too far in the background. For me, Sibelius calls for an inner drama, more landscape and less portrait.

The Nielsen too is a polished interpretation and is perhaps, due to its inherent good-naturedness, better suited than Sibelius to Vengerov's temperament. Composed around the same time as his sunny third symphony, and adapting some of its themes, Nielsen's violin concerto has moments of sweetness and dance. But the orchestra is still too quiet; I prefer the Dane Nikolaj Znaider's interpretation by far.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "andypandy535" on 26 Aug. 2002
Format: Audio CD
This concerto might be considered to be an 'old warhorse', but I can assure any serious music lover that Vengerov as truly taken the 'old' out of this virtuosic classic. The clarity of the phrasing, the rhythmic beauty and the sonority that he achieves with Barenboim at the podium, could if you close your eyes, transport you to Finland within the first couple of bars. Few orchestras, conductors and artists in my opinion, can boast of bringing the snowcapped mountains, fertile valleys, glaciers, and fjords of Sibelius country into your living room. A holiday in Finland for a fraction of the cost! The best I have ever heard.
The performance of the Nielson violin concerto, is certainly a worthy partener for the Sibelius. This is more of a show piece, but like the Sibelius, Vengerov makes it live. A piece full of joy and thanks for life.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tintagel on 19 May 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Almost all reviews of these performances suggest that this is not Sibelius not Nielsen for the first time listener and I would have to agree. The flaws - showmanship above musicality, lack of atmosphere and self-consciousness - are all the absolute antitheses of this two modest composers. The Sibelius concerto is held by some as a show piece, but it run oh so much deeper than that. Such a view does the concerto and it's composer serious injustice.

I would add that the Orchestra and Concductor are not actually always in step with the soloist. Sometimes they seem to lose interest and the music loses momentum, providing a weird contrast with the over-hyped playing of Vengerov. It's almost like they are beaten into submission by his misplaced charisma.

If you already know, and have lots of treasured recordings of this concerto then go ahead and listen. Don't, though, if you are coming to it for the first time. If you do you will come away with a false impression of it being a showpiece with no depth and no atmosphere. I can almost guarantee that you won't bother to return to it very often!
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tony in Edinburgh on 18 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
I am usually a great admirer of Vengerov: his Brahms, Mendelssohn and especially Shostakovich are all close to first choice. His stab at Sibelius, on the other hand, seems to be all about MV rather that JS. I am afraid I found it downright offensive and it made me think less of a man who is by any measure one of the world's current leading violinists. It's bloody dreadful so don't buy it. If you want the same coupling I would recommend Lin/Salonen which is belter: icy cold, precise, chilling, exciting, a wee bit scary...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3/4 of this CD is great 16 Mar. 2005
By HB - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When it comes to couplings, you simply cannot beat this one, the two greatest violin concertos from Scandinavia. The Nielsen, in four movements but with only one break, is highly underrated. It may not be the most beautiful violin concerto but it is powerful and quite original. The performance here is simply spectacular. The playing by Vengerov in the Sibelius is also on a very high level but I find the conducting of Barenboim to be cold and totally uninspired. If you already have a great recording of the Sibelius but none of the Nielsen, go ahead and purchase this CD. I believe you will love the Nielsen.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A different take on the Sibelius; wonderful Neilson 12 Sept. 2009
By billinrio - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I grew up listening to the Heifetz/Hendl/Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance of the Sibelus. That recording fully deserves all of the praise that it has received over the years. In spite of his perfect technique, Heifetz was sometimes critized for a purported lack of "charm" and "warmth" - perhaps, but these are certainly not qualities required for this concerto, and the entire recording, which has never been out of the catalog since its release in the 1960s, is embued with a cold fire. Other recordings, such as those of Chung/Previn, Oistrach/Ormandy, and Lin/Salonen are also all wonderful in their own ways.
Here, with Barenboim leading the same CSO that performed so marvelously for Hendl, I've never heard this concerto played so slowly. There is no reason why such a pace couldn't work. Certainly, many of the movements from the composer's symphonies can, and should be taken with great broadness and concentration, and they sound wonderful that way. Its a tribute to Vengerov that he can maintain the long line, but here Barenboim projects turgidity rather than lyrical sweep. And in the 3rd movement, the polar bears don't dance.

In the Nielsen, it is as if a different conductor were leading the band, with Barenboim and Vengerov producing one of the most distinguished recordings that I've ever heard of the work.

The 3 stars for the album represent 5 for the Nielson, and one for the Sibelius.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Nielsen is a once-in-a-lifetime performance 26 July 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Most listeners will buy this CD for the Sibelius concerto and stay (perhaps) for the Nielsen, but it's the latter that is the real triumph. I was going to do a comparative review of versions from Nikolaj Znaider, Cho-Liang Lin, and Vengerov, but as I listened it quickly became apparent that there wasn't any comparison. Vengerov applies amazing finesse to Nielsen's sometimes enigmatic writing. He finds humor in the folk-dance tune at the end and passion in the opening cadenza that none of the others equals. Barenboim gives an alert, sympathetic accompaniment. Five stars without a doubt.

The Sibelius is more problematic. I agree with the reviewer below who places blame squarely with Barenboim, whose conducting is slow, mannered, and uninspired--a very poor showing unless you happen to like him unconditionally. Vengerov does his best to adapt, and he exhibits playing that is often intensely involving. On the ohter hand, he shreds his attacks in the finale (taken at a lumpish tempo) and ultimately can't carry the whole work himself. Three stars for a missed opportunity.
Nielsen of interest, Sibelius a dud 19 Mar. 2015
By clyde - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For once I have to agree with the pack; The Sibelius is a real dud. I acquired this recording through the recent box set of Vengerov's complete recordings 1991-2007. I bought it mainly based on the strength of his stellar recordings of the Prokofiev and Shostakovitch concertos with Rostropovich. I own two other versions of the Sibelius by Heifetz & Hahn. The Heifetz (especially the SACD remaster) can't be beat for hair raising verve and power. The Hahn version accentuates the lyricism and emotional depth of the work. I was excited to hear what Vengerov would do with it, but found myself curiously bored part way through. I actually stopped to look up reviews just to see if maybe I was not in a receptive mood or if others shared my view. Sure enough, I'm not the only bored passenger on this train of thought. The orchestra sounds like a flat tire making its way to the shop. Vengerov sounds like a thoroughbred forced to walk along the beach. I also agree with some others that the conductor may be to blame for such a lifeless recording. Vengerov's talent is never in question, but perhaps in his eagerness to imbue some life into the work he squeezes out a rather maudlin rendition with heavy vibrato on nearly everything. There are a lot of factors to consider and no great artist has been without missteps.
The Nielsen fares much better as others have noted, but I have no other version to compare it to. The orchestra suddenly wakes up and we start to hear what could have happened in the Sibelius. Upon one listen I can't really say much about it. I lean toward more modern and contemporary works, but I did enjoy it. I will definitely give it a closer listen in future, but I'll skip the Sibelius for one of my other versions next time.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
It doesn't get any better than this! 1 Jan. 2004
By Brian Kelly - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I cannnot understand why this recording is getting such widely disparate reviews from other listeners since it seems obvious to me that this is an essentail, masterpiece recording of these two compositions. This is especiually true of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. I can't imagine anyone (other than Vangerov)ever playing this any better. I have at least five recordings of this concerto but none are as good as this one although Anne Sophie-Mutter's recording is right up there with Vengerov's reading of this concerto. The biggest difference is the recording and orchestration on this record are better. For me, even though this is not a particularly difficult piece to listen to I now feel like I had never truly heard or understood this music until I heard this recording.
However, with that said, the Nielson piece may be the knockout recording on this CD. This could have been written for Vengerov since it diplays both his virtousity, his depth of expression and his unmatched ability to make wildly opposing musical statements seem coherent.
Five stars to Vengerov for his unmatched performance and five more stars to Barrenboim for his help in making this music happen in the first place.
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