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Arriving from the same Siberian town as Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin was signed to the much-missed Erato Disques in the mid-1990s when it was still at least nominally an independent record label. Warner owned Erato and Teldec (and still do); this 10-CD box set usefully collects Repin's Erato releases - all are very good to excellent - at a bargain price. Perhaps illustrative of the state the classical music market got into in the 1980s and 1990s, several of Repin's releases mirrored, to a greater or lesser extent, Vengerov's contemporaneous releases, even though they were effectively recording for the same label! Never mind, both violnists are brilliant.

In 1995, Repin released 2 CDs: the first featured Prokofiev's Op.80 & Op.94bis violin sonatas and the Op.35bis "Five Melodies". The pianist was the equally talented Boris Bereskovsky. Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas Nos 1 & 2 was the original well-recieved release. The second 1995 release featured Prokofiev's second violin concerto and Shostakovich's violin concerto 1 with the Halle Orchestra under Kent Nagano. Shostakovich/Prokofiev - Violin Concertos was the original release, very different from Vengerov's release with more clarity and less bravado; a terrific recording.

Two CDs appeared in 1996, the first of which contained Ravel's violin sonata and Medtner's "Epica" third violin sonata with Berezovsky; the less than well-known Medtner is a good piece worth getting to know. Ravel & Medtner - Violin Sonatas was the long-deleted original release. 1996 also brought us another concerto disc with the LSO under Emmanuel Krivine with Tchaikovsky's violin concerto coupled with the Sibelius. Tchaikovsky/Sibelius - Violin Concertos was the original Erato release.

One CD appeared in 1997 and this featured the lovely, long, Tchaikovsky piano trio coupled with the second piano trio from Shostakovich. Repin was joined by Berezovsky on piano and Dmitry Yablonsky (now an up-and coming conductor) on cello. This is a great recording and was originally released as Shostakovich/Tchaikovsky - Piano Trios.

1998 brought two releases, the first of which was the astonishing virtuoso showcase "Tutta bravura" Tutta Bravura - Vadim Repim, the second having three of Mozart's violin concertos (K216/211/219) with the Wiener Kammerorchester coducted by Yehudi Menuhin Mozart: Violin Concertos, Vols 2, 3 & 5 /Vadim Repin. This disc is my least favourite here; Warner clearly disagree, as it has been released four times, including this box!

1999 also brought us two releases. "Vadim Repin au Louvre", a riveting disc featuring Debussy's sonata for violin and piano, Schubert's "Grand Duo", Prokofiev's sonata for two violins, Ravel's "Blues" and Hora di Mars by Dinicu. Repin was joined by Berezovsky and others; the original release was Vadim Repin - Live at the Louvre, but it has subsequently been re-released by Warner twice, including this box. The other 1999 release was Lalo/Chausson - Works for Violin & Orchestra, featuring Lalo's Symphonie espagnole, Chaussons Poeme (one of my favourite pieces of music) and Ravel's Tzigane. The conductor was Kent Nagano, the orchestra the LSO.

By 2000, the game was sadly up for Erato, and Repin's final release was issued the following year and featured Strauss' Op. 18 violin sonata, Stravinsky's divertimento, and Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances with Berezovsky. The original CD was Bartók, Strauss R & Stravinsky - Violin Works. After the end of Erato, Repin shipped up at Deutsche Grammophon and has continued to release excellent CDs.

This Warner box set is highly recommended and comes with a brief booklet, but the original album notes are, regrettably, absent. If you buy the Vengerov box, too, you will benefit from hearing some of the most enduring recordings of the 1990s.
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on 13 November 2013
this collection is an absolute bliss! it includes all that is available from Vadim Repin; and it is just fantastic in quality! I can't stop listening to it. Repin is a genius, what a techinc! what a soul! and for such a price!- my best buy on Amazon.
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