It is a logical pairing because, not only are these two of the finest violin concertos from the Romantic period, but they were both inspired by the virtuoso violinist Joachim.
Schumann's mental health had begun to deteriorate and the violin concerto was his last major work.
Joachim never performed it and persuaded Clara Schumann and Brahms not to publish it. It went unpublished until 1937, when a young Yehudi Menuhin championed this most original violin concerto. The work is seen by some as being a missing-link between Beethoven's and Brahm's violin concertos, indeed the opening orchestral outburst would do justice to either of these great composers and this memorable theme occurs throughout the first movement, interspersed by some particularly tender passages for the solo instrument. This is followed by a short, very lyrical slow movement with plenty of opportunities for the soloist. The finale is very energetic and in a more traditional concertante style. Eschenbach brings out the very best in the Philharmonia and Zehetmair is a most sympathetic soloist.
The Dvorak concerto is in his "lucky key" of A minor. It is both robust and lively and Nationalistic elements are obvious, particularly as the first movement develops. After a charming adagio, the allegro finale is rather reminiscent of Brahm's concerto and is one of the finest of any violin concerto.
There is the bonus of Dvorak's Romance (11.5 minutes), a reworking of the slow movement of an earlier, discarded, string quartet.
Over 70 minutes of top quality romantic violin music at a budget price. This CD would enrich anyone's collection.