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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly the Best Recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Available Now
Stunning and exquisite are the very words that come to mind whenever I think of the young German violinist Julia Fischer's superlative playing (Indeed, I consider myself most fortunate to have heard her perform live finally last season here in New York City with the New York Philharmonic, agreeing with others that the ample hype she's earned is ample praise for her...
Published on 11 Aug 2008 by John Kwok

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well played but totally characterless!
If you want to know what Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto sounds like, for say, studying purposes, this version will do. It's well played and recorded, though a little smudged in places.

But if you want something more look elsewhere. This performance by both soloist and orchestra is totally devoid of character. There's no inflection, no personality, just straight...
Published on 19 Jun 2012 by Amazon Customer


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly the Best Recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Available Now, 11 Aug 2008
By 
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
Stunning and exquisite are the very words that come to mind whenever I think of the young German violinist Julia Fischer's superlative playing (Indeed, I consider myself most fortunate to have heard her perform live finally last season here in New York City with the New York Philharmonic, agreeing with others that the ample hype she's earned is ample praise for her sterling musicianship.). Now in her mid twenties, Julia Fischer embodies tremendous technical brilliance and ample lyricism in her playing. Nowhere is this more evident in her critically-acclaimed recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, in which she dazzles with musical pyrotechnics, especially in the first and final movements, and yet, not once does she forsake any empathy for Tchaikovsky's score, offering a truly moving interpretation. Stylistically, her style of playing reminds me most of a young Anne-Sophie Mutter's, but coupled too with an ample abundance of warmth, so that her style also resembles that of Joshua Bell's in its emotional intensity. Under the baton of noted Russian-American conductor Yakov Kreizberg, the Russian National Orchestra plays with ample precision, without losing its Slavic soul, as though it was the Russian equivalent of the Wiener Philharmoniker. There's refined playing from the orchestra throughout the concerto, especially from the winds and strings, at a pace that isn't leisurely at all. As well as the concerto, the Russian National Orchestra offers more of its superlative playing in the rarely heard Serenade melancolique for violin and orchestra and Valse-scherzo pieces. Conductor Yakov Kreizberg proves to be a sympathetic, sensitive accompanist too as the pianist in the Souvenir d'un lieu cher for violin and piano. This PentaTone recording truly deserved being singled out by premier classical music magazine Grammophone as an Editor's Choice recording, and not just for Fischer's magnificent performances; the sound quality is absolutely stellar too. While I still hold in high regard the recent recordings made by Vengerov and Bell of this concerto, Fischer's recording may be regarded by most as perhaps the best that is available currently.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wholeheartedly disagree..., 23 Oct 2011
By 
comm88 "comm88" (Chester, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
Sorry but I don't buy a 2 star review for this recording. I'm not a professional musician, so I'm not judging it by anything other than how it makes me feel, but this is BRILLIANT and I think a 2 star review is just desperately picky and way too stingy. For me, it touches perfection on so many points and the final three pieces on the CD are truly sublime. He was a genius - and so is she. Her touch is sure and steady throughout and she works the orchestra with superlative skill to produce a breathtaking result. It's a 5 star performance in anybody's book. Buy it and I am thoroughly certain that you will love and treasure it too.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Mr. Kwok said..., 3 Aug 2009
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
This is an outstanding rendition of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, both from an artistic and a recording point of view. Swiss Radio has a program, in which 5 or 6 recordings of a work are reviewed by two experts, who are not told who's playing, until the end. This recording was voted top, just shading Anne-Sophie Mutter's justly-praised recording with the VPO. Julia Fischer is showing the same astonishing maturity that Mutter showed when Karajan discovered and promoted her. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A version of the concerto to compare favourably with the best, 24 Jun 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
This very well recorded disc from 2006 contains one of the finest versions of the concertos plus an unusual selection of other works by Tchaikovsky featuring the violin as soloist. This will make this disc quite distinct from those many alternatives that feature another unrelated concerto for example.

Julia Fischer, since recording this disc, has continued to build her reputation as one of the finest of current young soloists, She has an impressive technical command of the instrument plus the ability to have something to say about the music she is playing. Fortunately she is able to create that feeling of communication within a recording studio environment as here. Not all soloists who are outstanding on stage in front of an audience are able to communicate and create that 'live' feeling within a recording studio so Julia Fischer has a relatively rare talent in that respect.

She plays the concerto in its full uncut version. Older recordings frequently made a number of cuts in the last movement especially. The performance has a clear forward pulse and that creates its own excitement. The orchestral support is excellent and climaxes are unerringly met. The slow movement has a nice lyrical flow and the final movement is not over-driven and still has a sense of dance about it. This is one of the best performances currently available.

The Valse-Scherzo was a pre-runner to the concerto and maybe here the composer was trying out ideas for writing with a solo violin in mind. The Meditation which opens the three Souvenirs was apparently considered as the concerto's original slow movement before being replaced by the Canzonetta. The Serenade is pleasant enough but not a major work. These fill-ups therefore have some interest but do not have the same quality of inspiration to offer as a renowned concerto to match the Tchaikovsky. This fill-up situation will be contentious for many purchasers and there is a case for considering this as a doubtful commercial decision in such a competitive market.

In conclusion I would suggest that the concerto deserves to be considered along with the very best but I would also suggest that the choice of couplings, while being imaginative and different, may be less of a commercial or musical attraction for collectors, and especially for those looking for an 'only' version.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best interpretations of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto I've heard, 6 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
Bought it together with the Sarah Chang and Ray Chen interpretations of the work and have to say that Julia Fischer has the greater goosebump-factor of those three - and much more than many other renditions I have listened to. Well worth it's price.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well played but totally characterless!, 19 Jun 2012
This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
If you want to know what Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto sounds like, for say, studying purposes, this version will do. It's well played and recorded, though a little smudged in places.

But if you want something more look elsewhere. This performance by both soloist and orchestra is totally devoid of character. There's no inflection, no personality, just straight forward note playing. It's TOTALLY & utterly boring. What's the point ???

Don't waste your money.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Violin Concerto in D by Tchaikovsky, 5 Feb 2010
By 
Marc Allan Donsmark (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto (Audio CD)
I chose the version with Julia Fischer and Yakov Kreizberg with the Russian Natiaonla Orchestra as I thought that russians should know how to play Tchaikovsky and could provide positive impact to a reputable german soloist. But alas, it totally lacked the russian spirit and power almost to the point of being anonymous. I could hardly "recognize" the first movement being so vague and uncommitting. Whether is was the conductor, the orchestra or Julia Fischer having a bad day is hard to say, but no one seemed to be able to inspire the other. Of course there are different interpretations, however, in this case, we all have the privilege to have an opinion and choose a favorite which I am now looking for.
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