11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2004
This recording has all the panache and romantic flair one could dream of for Saint-Saens's extremely underrated violin concertos. Graffin's tone is powerful and incisive but also be as sweet as honey. This is a violinist with poetry in his soul. Brilliant and compelling!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This well recorded disc from 1998,so conveniently couples these three concertos that one wonders why such an obvious coupling has not been regularly made before. It is true that the concertos are not the equal of many of the greatest but nevertheless they remain rewarding in their own right. As Berlioz famously remarked, the young Saint Saens 'knows everything, but lacks inexperience.'
What Saint Saens had was a ready ability to write tuneful or lyrical music that was skilfully composed for the solo and orchestral instruments and which was entertaining. In these ways he wrote much music which gave pleasure without seemingly attempting to scale the heights of greatness compositionally which would assure long term fame after his death.
These three concertos are not all familiar. The third is the best known and receives fairly regular performances. On disc there is a fine one by Lin and also a DVD version by Julia Fischer. Both of those are excellent but coupled quite differently. The first concerto has a good alternative with Chung, again differently coupled. The second concerto is the least played and also the least immediately memorable.
The performances on this disc by Graffin are all very good indeed and capable of sustaining comparison with the best alternatives such as those mentioned above. It has the great advantage of a convenient coupling for collectors and the sound is also very good without spotlighting the soloist to a ridiculous degree which can happen.
I would therefore suggest that this disc deserves to be considered very seriously by anyone interested in collecting all three of these concertos in one convenient package.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2010
I completely agree with the previous reviewer - excellent performances of wonderful and sadly underrated concertos by Saint-Saëns.
I have known the Third Concerto for many years - chiefly through recordings by Kyung Wha Chung and Itzak Perlman. Graffin's performance is slower than Perlman's and his tone is a little edgier but is very convincing.
The Second Concerto (by name though the first to be written - 1858)is a real discovery. Melodious, inventive and full of charm. Graffin's performance is very pleasurable and I will certainly be looking out for other recordings by him.