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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bruch is not a one-hit wonder, and here's proof, 17 Jun. 2006
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bruch - Violin Concerto No 1; Romance, Op 42 (Audio CD)
Most people don't know any music by Max Bruch other than the violin concerto featured on this disc. As played by Maxim Fedotov accompanied by Dmitry Yablonsky and the Russion Philharmonic, the concerto again makes its case, and convincingly. I liked a previous Bruch/Fedotov disc that included the Scottish Fantasy, and I like this one, too. The problem is that there are numerous other fine recordings of the concerto, many of them at a budget price that actually undercuts that of Naxos -- for instance, the two-CD set featuring Salvatore Accardo playing all nine of Bruch's concerted violin works sells here at Amazon for only a little bit more than this single disc -- and, further, there are simply magnificent performances of the G Minor Concerto by the likes of Heifetz, Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin and other violin superstars. The selling point of this disc is not the concerto, although it is played with silvery tone and innate musicianship by Fedotov. No, the main attraction of this disc is the coupling. Usually with the G Minor one gets another concerto by another composer -- most commonly the Mendelssohn, for some reason -- but here we get two other concerted works by Bruch: the Konzertstück, Op. 84, and the ten-minute Romance, Op. 42. So let's focus on those.

The Konzertstück, written in 1910, contains two movements and was possibly meant to have been Bruch's fourth concerto. But he never got past these two movements which are, as it happens, played without pause, making it seem even less like a full-fledged concerto. Hence the name Bruch chose: 'Concert Piece.' The first movement is dramatic, virtuosic for the violin with double-stops, filigree and fireworks. The second movement is based on an Irish folksong -- an Irish Fantasy as a companion piece to the Scottish one? -- that is lyrical and deeply-felt. The movement comes to a serene finish. Fedotov, whose intonation is dead-center throughout, is not challenged by the fireworks, and he is able to convincingly sing the effusive melodies of the second movement. A very fine performance all round, with empathic accompaniment by Yablonsky and the orchestra.

The Romance is a ten-minute minor-key lyrical outpouring, curiously Russian-sounding at times, in ABA song-form. Bruch had an ability to write memorable melodies and does so here; both the main and subsidiary themes linger long in the mind's ear. Fedotov is more emotional here than in the earlier tracks and it all adds up to a superb performance.

Not a first recommendation for the concerto, but highly recommended for the other two works, and especially for the Romance.

Scott Morrison
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bruch Violin Concerto - famous and fantasti, 7 Aug. 2013
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M. Smith "msmithag" (Bucks, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bruch - Violin Concerto No 1; Romance, Op 42 (Audio CD)
As a Classic FM fan I hear this over and over again and never tire of it. I just had to have a copy of my own.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Violin Concerto CD by Bruch, 25 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Bruch - Violin Concerto No 1; Romance, Op 42 (Audio CD)
There is nothing much to add to the fact I was very happy with the product. Bruch's Violin Concerto has long been a favourite of mind and I was pleased with the transaction. Thank you.
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Bruch - Violin Concerto No 1; Romance, Op 42
Bruch - Violin Concerto No 1; Romance, Op 42 by Max Bruch (Audio CD - 2006)
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