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SIBELIUS & TCHAIKOVSKY/VLN CNCS/SHA'M GH

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000001GIH
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,512 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

SHAHAM / PREVIN / LONDON S. O.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Shaham gives deeply passionate and rhapsodic performances of Sibelius & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos. Maybe too individualistic interpretation to those who prefer more objective approach, yet there are some magical moments in slow sections of the both works which no other violinists could manage to creat. Orchestra is superb and warmly expressive, as much involved as the solist.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9745a168) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97138624) out of 5 stars A rich and electrifying reading 30 Dec. 1999
By David Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The high point of this fine recording is the Sibelius concerto, in particular the first movement. Shaham tears into the notes with thrilling immediacy, and you can hear the Sinopoli and the Philharmonia ignite with the same enthusiasm, racing along with the soloist. Shaham's tone is richly colored, with the earthiness of "digging into" the instrument. (Compare this with Anne-Sofie Mutter's equally captivating performance, where she creates a sinuous, almost icy tone and a very different atmosphere.) The recording quality is DG at its best, full of detail and depth. Listen to the beautiful, aching first statement of the violin in the Sibelius and you will at once be transfixed. And that's only the beginning.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97138678) out of 5 stars Simply amazing 27 May 2003
By J. Ng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Though I purchased this album primarily for Gil Shaham's rendition of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, I quickly became hooked on the Sibelius even though I was never a big fan of it.
An understatement for Shaham's Tchaikovsky is exhilerating. Many say that he takes the tempo for the last movement of this piece too quickly, but I feel that as a listener, it really makes you jump up and scream in delight! The orchestra and Shaham keep bouncing back and forth, pushing and pushing until the piece ends off and you find yourself before you know it at Shaham's personal website looking up when his next concert date is.
Simply amazing.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9724024c) out of 5 stars Shaham has mastered both concertos completely -- bravo! 6 Jan. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Violinists are stuck parading five big concertos around the world (Beethove, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius), so they can be excused for performing them in the rote fashion we encounter too often in concert. For touring virtuosos is there any music to be squeezed out of these works? Here, Gil Shaham has turned his back on anything rote, however, giving masterful, original, totally committed readings of the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky concertos.

Putting Shaham close to the mikes makes his sound larger than life, which is quite thrilling given his superhuman accuracy. In concert his tone isn't exceptionally large; it's sweet and smooth, incapable of an ugly note. Those qualities come out in DG's excellent recording. Like his contemporary Joshua Bell, Shaham views the Sibelius as an inward work. He is a solitary singer against a lonely, romantic northern landscape. Sinopoli supports this approach with symphonic depth in the orchestral part. The Philharmonia is captured in gorgeous sound. Tempos are fairly slow, phrasing quite thougtful, the overall result a performance that stands at the same hieght as a Sibelius symphony, a rare occurence in the concerto.

The Tchaikovsky is performed more overtly as the violinist's show, but it too has nothing routine about it. Shaham sees the work as serious music, and again Sinopoli obliges with depth of expression in the orchestra. I'm not sure the approach works as well this time--the Tchaikovsky is more fun in the hands of a high-wire showman like Heifetz. In every other way this performance is first-rate, a worthy sidebar to the superlative Sibelius.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9740b780) out of 5 stars Personal Favorites 19 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In my opinion, Shaham's versions of these two concertos are the best available in modern, digital sound. Granted, there have been many other fine interpretations in the past, with Oistrakh's being one of my favorites. Shaham plays these works with a power and intensity that is simply unmatched by other current virtuosos.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97216b4c) out of 5 stars Propulsive, memorable readings that move with natural lyricism 2 Oct. 2012
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Gil Shaham boasts an advantage over some of his rivals in these oft-coupled concerti thanks to his partner, Giuseppe Sinopoli with the Philharmonia. Viktoria Mullova, in her classic reading of these concerti, for example, was brimming with interest, but Seiji Ozawa wasn't on her level. With the emergence of the Shaham/Sinopoli team, we at last find two musicians who deserve each other. Instead of a visionary soloist and a submissive conductor, we witness two individualists who weld together, each letting passion take full reign.

The Sibelius Violin Concerto is often viewed as predominately dark and cold, many interpreters competing to see who can make the 1st movement the iciest. Shaham and Sinopoli take a different route, incorporating flexibility and pressing forward with urgency. I don't mind the missing rigidity, impressed by lyricism that has lost its fetters. What's striking about the 2nd movement is its joyfulness. Again, the notion that this is a foreboding work is denied and replaced with effortless fancy. Often interpreters hide the sun until the finale, using it to balance out the rest of the concerto. Shaham and Sinopoli favored cloudless skies to begin with, but the added measure of adventure renders stationary the competition from the likes of Mullova and Haendel on their respective readings. It's a great ending to an already exhilarating performance. I should add that DG's sonics are sensational, placing us in the middle of an orchestra that sounds more world class than expected.

The Tchaikovsky isn't a dark enigma like the Sibelius, so our team's knack for pure melody no longer seems revolutionary. It's still delightful, though. Most memorable is the spontaneous feel both interpreters possess that enables the concerto to appear fresh, not weather-beaten from frequent exposure. Actually, if sheer beauty of sound is the listener's desired end, Shaham and Sinopoli don't quite match the translucency of Vengerov and Abbado, to name another of my favorites. (It's surprising how close they come, though, given the high level of Abbado's Berliners.) Shaham plays with agility; no harshness is permitted, but drama isn't forgotten. Sinopoli's accompaniment isn't, meaning he's right there with Shaham, sharing the center of attention. I'm again amazed by DG's clear sonics.

These are splendid readings, fresh and imaginative. I'm grateful these two great musicians found each other.
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