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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A towering performance!!!
I love Barber's violin conceto for its amazing inventiveness and gorgeous tunefulness. I've listened to many recordings including Perlman, Hahn, Stern, Takezawa, Bell etc...but, for me, young Gil Shaham's award-winning DG recording towers over all of them. He plays as if possessed by the music, with astonishingly rich singing tone, yet his firm intellectual grasp on the...
Published on 11 Feb 2010 by Scriabinmahler

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Korngold/Barber Violin
Cannot reate this CD at the moment because it still hasn't arrived four days after date given.
Will wait and see!
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. M. Glazebrook


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A towering performance!!!, 11 Feb 2010
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
I love Barber's violin conceto for its amazing inventiveness and gorgeous tunefulness. I've listened to many recordings including Perlman, Hahn, Stern, Takezawa, Bell etc...but, for me, young Gil Shaham's award-winning DG recording towers over all of them. He plays as if possessed by the music, with astonishingly rich singing tone, yet his firm intellectual grasp on the architecture of the work, lifts the music above mere aesthetics and emotional expression. Previn provides solid and vivid orchestral background, with the orchestra perfectly balanced with the soloist. Coupled with deeply lyrical and sublime performance of Korngold concerto and beautifully recorded, this must be one of the most satisfying CDs in entire violin concerto discography.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gil Shaham rules!, 24 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
For those who doubt Gil Shahams transcendental artistry, this cd dispels any doubts. His warm passionate sound is used to the full in the second movement of Barbers romantic concerto, and the third movement remains the perfect example of peerless virtuosity and poise. Shahams fantastic vibrato and musical phrasing bring to life Korngolds concerto in this unequalled recording of the work. I implore anyone who has not experienced Gil Shahams genius to do so now!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 18 Nov 2010
This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
A wonderful choice of works - we don't hear these so often and rarely played with such panache. Someone commented in another review that this is just film music, and I see the point. But it is lush and accessible and, it it puts one on mind of wonderfully atmospheric B&W films, then all the better.

I love the Barber as a work, but actually prefer the Korngold, a very underrated composer. The performance is great - the melodies soar and the intimate sections have a powerful, underlying intensity. I love Previn's sensitive support and Shaham plays with incredible ease and understanding. He obviously love this music, too. The only slight niggle I'd have with the recording is in sound quality, which I found to be rather uneven - especially in the louder sections - and also some of Shaham's playing seems to verge on the scratchy/frantic. Even so, it is a great recording and surely the best there is of these works.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just film music!, 15 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
Yes, it is romantic, and the syrup is a bit thick at times, particularly in the Korngold. But how well played, and the middle sections of both the Barber and Korngold are so sensitively done by Shaham. Excellent recorded sound. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful all round, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
Beautiful music, quite beautifully played and conducted. Shaham certainly brings a lot of emotion to his reading, without the histrionics other violinists may have been tempted to add.
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4.0 out of 5 stars gil shaham has the goods . . . ., 24 Feb 2014
By 
Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
So why not five stars? First, he's recorded too close. The orchestra has plenty of presence, and the sound is rich, but there are places where the balance brings the violin to the fore in an unnaturally spotlit way -- the slow movement of the Korngold was where I was most distracted by this. This isn't a criticism of Shaham's playing -- he was 22 when this recording was made (in 1994), and he has all the technique you could ask for, and lovely full-bodied tone to go with it. Nor is it a criticism of Previn, a master of lush romantic scores (Rachmaninov, Vaughan Williams), and he provided all that's needed here, and the orchestra sounds very good indeed. My other hesitation about the fifth star is the music -- it's lovely in the moment, but not particularly memorable. The first movement of the Barber plays with a lovely lyrical theme that weaves its way around something a bit snappier, and soloist and orchestra present it very appealingly. Likewise in the final movement of the Korngold -- which I liked a lot -- there's a charming blend of dance music, now sounding Eastern European and at other times Irish. It's a lot of fun, with plenty of opportunity for virtuoso passagework and orchestral high jinks. The high point of the recording, for me, was the 2.5 minutes of orchestral introduction to the Barber slow movement -- did he ever write anything more lovely? The violin has not yet entered, and the wind playing is exquisite. On the other hand, Barber just bails out of providing an interesting finale -- that 3+ minutes of virtuostic mishmash just doesn't cut it, well as Shaham plays.

As filler, Shaham is accompanied by Previn on piano in Korngold's "Much Ado" suite -- it's lovely and has the violin in better scale than the concerto recordings. Make no mistake, though -- Shaham is well worth hearing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars 20th century Violin Concertos by Barber & Korngold, 24 Aug 2012
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
The violin concertos by Samuel Barber and Erich Korngold represent two 20th century masterpieces for the instrument. There are few exponents of these works to surpass violinist Gil Shaham and Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Both concertos are quite beautiful and lyrical and Shaham's string tone is just perfection. The quality of the 1994 recording by DGG is up to their usual high standard. I am sure that those who listen to these concertos for the first time will enjoy them. They were composed at around the same time - the Barber concerto in 1939 and the Korngold in 1945 - and each concerto lasts something over 20 minutes. They are both more accessible on a first hearing probably than, say, the Sibelius or Prokofiev violin concertos and only marginally more challenging than the Bruch or Mendelssohn concertos. Keen filmgoers will detect more than a hint of `film music' about the Korngold I'm sure. There is a short `filler' on the CD - the Suite from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, played by Shaham (violin) and Previn (piano). This incidental music was written for a performance of the play at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna in 1920. Korngold was born in Austria and emigrated to America at the start of World War II.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Korngold/Barber Violin, 26 Mar 2013
By 
Mrs. M. Glazebrook (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
Cannot reate this CD at the moment because it still hasn't arrived four days after date given.
Will wait and see!
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Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos
Barber/Korngold: Violin Concertos by Samuel Barber (Audio CD - 1994)
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