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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome reissue of the great recording, 13 Oct 2010
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sibelius / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
Mullova's very focussed, refined, and even austere style of playing, fits very well with Sibelius' concerto which is a touchstone work for interpretative power of any violinist. Mullova seems totally in tune with the soul of the music and delivers, unsentimental, yet deeply affecting performance. Tchaikovsky's concerto is equally outstanding. It's not a classic heart-on-sleeve performance, but intensely felt and solid performance which explores a different possibility of interpretation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Particularly strong readings that refuse to play to the gallery, 11 Oct 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sibelius / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
This well recorded disc from 1985 delivers impressive readings of both of these works. Mullova takes a very individual view of these concertos and has the technical assurance to communicate her view with compelling certainty.

The Tchaikovsky concerto is played in the full uncut version that was written by the composer. This is now becoming more common but in 1985 was still unusual enough to warrant comment. By playing the notes as Tchaikovsky had intended Mullova signals a very serious intent which she carries out throughout these two concertos. The Tchaikovsky recording for instance, refuses to whip up extra excitement in any of the passages where one has got used to increase, but unwritten, tempos. She chooses a tempo that she feels to be the correct one and then sticks to it. This may seem pedantic as described here, but on the disc the performance achieves a compelling level of determination, of a musical journey which will undoubtedly reach its destination. Needless to say the final movement is played without undue flashy display and the slow movement is both concentrated and serene rather than warmly passionate.

Much the same can be said of the Sibelius concerto. In this, there are numerous parts where the most accomplished technicians will accelerate such as the conclusions of the two outer movement. The slow movement is often a passionate experience. Mullova, once more, goes for steadiness which remorselessly builds to inevitable climatic points. The slow movement is cool rather than warm in its expression.

These are very individual readings. Ozawa matched Mullova precisely and one feels considerable rapport between the two. The recordings are good but the bass drum has a tendency towards being indistinct in impact, being a touch boomy, but this is not sufficient to cause undue concern. The violin is well balanced in the sound mix.

I would suggest that these are uncommonly powerful and compelling readings of both works. Because of their individuality they may be more suitable for collectors who collect multiple versions for comparison but purchasers of single versions should still find this especially effective if not quite as expected as an interpretation.
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Sibelius / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos
Sibelius / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos by Viktoria Mullova (Audio CD - 2001)
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