36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding issue.,
This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto op35; Bruch: Violin Concerto 1 (Audio CD)
With so many of the world's top echelon violinists, both young and mature, having versions of these much loved works available on CD there cannot really be one universally agreed best version of either. But I would agree with other reviewers here that this is an outstanding issue. Nicola Benedetti plays the Tchaikovsky with feeling and passion yet with subtle nuances. I have several other recordings of the concerto and what really registers is her refusal to treat it as a sprint race in places, or merely a showpiece for her technique. You can hear this is Nicola from the playing, as if she plays with her whole body, not just her arms, slightly reminiscent of du Pré. The recording is excellent, with the soloist forward enough for clarity yet not too much to blend in orchestral tuttis. The orchestral sound is recognisably that of the Czech Philharmonic, credit perhaps being shared by the orchestra, conductor, hall and recording engineer. Ensemble is of a high order.
The Bruch is of a similarly high standard. For me the major impact is in the Tchaikovsky because it definitely surpasses any other version I have on CD, nor have I heard better live. Doubtless some will disagree, but anyone may buy this CD with confidence.
After I wrote the above I found that the review in Gramophone described the finale as "very fast indeed", and I felt rather foolish! However, on checking, I found: Milstein 8'57", Ferras 9'13",compared to Benedetti 10'10". A matter of opinion I suppose.