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Brahms: Violin Concerto CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (25 Mar. 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000002RRZ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

ORIGINAL 1991 ISSUE CD ALBUM AS SHOWN . EMI CD NIGE 3

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In a word, this recording is breathtaking. Brahms' genius is superbly displayed in the long first movement, in which he gave himself all the space he needed to develop the theme of the piece to such an extent that the result is a completely fulfilling, emotional and evocative whole. The melody is simple and effective, the orchstration exquisite. The second and inevitably slow second movement, whilst undeniably graceful, fails to measure up to the splendour of the first. It is tranquil, but not especially moody. The final movement of the piece is a lively show-piece for the soloist, and perhaps the sense of festivity rather detracts from the dramatic feeling of the piece thus far. Overall the concerto lacks continuity; the second movement is quite disparate from the first, and the third even more so. But what endures is the quality of the music; at points it is heartbrakingly beautiful, at others absorbing and fun. To give it anything but five stars would be a crime.
Kennedy's playing is vigorous and dazzling; one would expect nothing less. He lends the same freshness to this recording as he did to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and in my opinion this is to the benefit of the piece. However, whilst imaginative he remains tastefully economic with his flare, perceptibly in the third movement. It feels that Kennedy wishes to deliver the music rather than a demonstration of his finesse with the fiddle. I for one find this performance much more palatable than, for instance, that of Maxim Vengerov, for precisely this reason.
Overall, this is a recording not to be missing from anyone's collection. Even if you own a different version, I would recommend buying this one also simply because of its intriguing perspective on a wonderful masterpiece. The music has something to offer anyone.
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Nigel Kennedy has, in my view, a tremendous ability to bring out nuances in a piece that others haven't. This makes the Concerto come to life in a way that resonates with the feelings I imagine Brahms intended to convey. I will enjoy this recording for some time to come, I am sure.
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This version of Brahm's violin concerto is as good as the reviews below say.
It is a young man's performance: strong and confident but still respectful of an old classic.
The first movement is powerful but tender in the right places.Kennedy plays his own cadenza which may go on a little too long but it shows he has thought deeply about the piece rather than just play the usual Joachim cadenza.
The slow movement is full of feeling but not as rapt as older recordings which is consistant with his up-front first movement.
The finale is probably the best movement,full of vitality and rhythm.An exhilarating way to end the work.
Kennedy is well supported by Klaus Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic in 1990.
I enjoy this performance because it is not the heavily romantic approach which makes the concerto too thick and cloying.
It is an exciting performance, full of life and vigour- romantic in a different sense!
If you want a different, youthful, take on this hoary old classic- try this version!
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Format: Audio CD
Tastes differ, of course, but if I were asked to name a violin concerto recording that had the solo instrument and the orchestra in ideal balance, I would name this one, without hesitation. EMI in 1990 did Tennstedt and Kennedy proud, whatever you might think of the interpretation. In the first movement, violin and orchestra share thematic material but seem to be assertive in their respective ways; in the other two movements, they seem more in conversation, and the effect is very engaging. Kennedy's playing here seems to divide opinion, but it seems lovely to me. He takes his time, but nothing is dull -- in the long first movement, he enables us to savor the cadenza-like moments, the lyrical interludes, and the more positively attacked sections, and he and Tennstedt manage the transitions between them very convincingly. That first movement is a drama in itself, full of variety in their hands. The second and third movements are expressively less complex, but both are beautifully played -- the lullaby-like second movement is like an intimate conversation between violin and orchestra, and in the third, Kennedy has fun with the bells and whistles: it's highly enjoyable. I should add that I found Kennedy's own first-movement cadenza perfectly fine, and played with lovely tone quality. This concerto is a great work, and there's more than one way to do it. Like Salerno-Sonnenberg, Kennedy is on the slow side (though more varied in expression than S-S), and it works just fine. Really good musicians lead you in to a willingness to dwell in their sound-worlds, and Kennedy and Tennstedt do that here.
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Format: Audio CD
I may not be the most knowledgable person to judge but I consider this CD to be a truly magnificent piece of work. The exquisite playing of Kennedy together with the brilliance of Tennssted make this an unmissable listening experience. I have bought no fewer than six of these CD's as gifts for my friends.
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I have several recordings of this concerto but this is the best so far. Kennedy plays his own cadenzas which give a rich and balanced flavour to the music and the whole piece is conducted beautifully.
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