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Walton/Britten: Violin Conc [Import]

Maxim Vengerov Audio CD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £25.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00008RGZL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,189,571 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vengerov and Viola 24 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to get a pre-release of this CD in March 2003. It has not been out of the CD player since. There are few recordings available of these two pieces, probably because of the difficulties for both soloist and orchestra.
I have heard Mr Vengerov play the Britten concerto live now on several occasions and it invariably moves me to tears. It must be difficult to conjure the same emotional intensity in a recording studio, without the feedback and participation of an audience, but this comes very, very close to recreating those very special occasions when I was there. The constant circling around the major / minor conflict at the very end is soul stirring stuff. This is in my opinion one of the best (if not THE best) violin concertos ever written and to hear it played by by one of the best (and again I will say, if not THE best) violinists of our time is a special gift.
Now the Walton Viola concerto. If the Britten was magnificent what is this? Aided I guess by the purest and most lucious of tones from the Archinto Strad (on loan from the RAM for the occasion), this is the pinnacle (so far) of Mr Vengerov's career. I was left speechless and wordless. Every note seemingly treated with such care and attention, you will notice things you never heard before in this concerto however well you know it. Such a shame that without a viola of his own (yet!)he will not be performing it live at the moment (though when he does I plan to be there!). Such a wonderful piece and played to absolute perfection.
I must comment on the LSO's superb performances also, in both concerti. In all the live performances I have heard some come close but none actually reach the standard of playing and interpretation we have here. Each member taking their part so well in the solo passages and the ensemble so perfect too. They are to be congratulated.
Buy this CD....and if you get chance to experience it live do that too, you will never forget the experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two great British String Concertos 19 Sep 2012
By Graham Mummery TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Though I know much of the violin repertoire, the Britten Concerto has not been one of the works I have fully acquainted myself with, I remember hearing a radio performance of it many years ago by Ida Haendel and enjoying it, but never bought her recording.

The opening of this work is one of the most haunting in the violin repertoire, and it's ending devastating. The performance here is lyrical, persuasive and very moving. Vengerov's technique is one of the most impressive of our time, or from any time in the past. His tone is sensual here. The accompaniment by the orchestra under Rostropovich is very effective, but perhaps that was inevitable considering the great cellist, here as conductor, was a great friend and advocate of Britten's music. The performance is of a quality that one wonders why it has not taken its proper place among more familiar British violin concertos such as the Elgar and the Walton.

By contrast, I know the Walton Viola Concerto well. As a viola player myself (though not in the level of anyone named here!) I'm often intrigued by how violinists adapt to the larger and "nobler" instrument- as the great violist William Primrose once facetiously put it. It has been recorded by two violinists (hardly an invasion) before, namely Menuhin Walton: Violin and Viola Concertos/Partita and Kennedy Walton: Violin and Viola Concertos; The Lark Ascending, though, Pinchas Zuckerman, to my mind the violinist who is to my mind most successful on viola, has not recorded it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing! 14 Aug 2003
Format:Audio CD
This CD has been hyped to the gills by the Classical Music press, and for a change the hype is absolutely merited. Vengerov's touch is absolutely perfect, bringing every subtlety of tone from his instruments. The Britten is ravishing, especially the finale, but the Walton is what really makes this recording stand out. It's difficult to believe Vengerov only learned to play the viola for this piece. His tone is by turns heart-meltingly warm and heart-breakingly mournful, and I can only hope it helps give this Viola Concerto more recognition for the masterpiece it is.
Rostropovich's conducting is also masterful.
I've had this CD for 2 months now and it still gets an airing more or less every week. The new release of 2003 so far, to my mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing! 14 Aug 2003
Format:Audio CD
This CD has been hyped to the gills by the Classical Music press, and for a change the hype is absolutely merited. Vengerov's touch is absolutely perfect, bringing every subtlety of tone from his instruments. The Britten is ravishing, especially the finale, but the Walton is what really makes this recording stand out. It's difficult to believe Vengerov only learned to play the viola for this piece. His tone is by turns heart-meltingly warm and heart-breakingly mournful, and I can only hope it helps give this Viola Concerto more recognition for the masterpiece it is.
Rostropovich's conducting is also masterful.
I've had this CD for 2 months now and it still gets an airing more or less every week. The new release of 2003 so far, to my mind.
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