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Sibelius / Elgar: Violin Concertos CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • Sibelius / Elgar: Violin Concertos
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  • Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3; Introduction and Rondo capriccioso; Caprice andalous; Morceau de concert
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Product details

  • Conductor: Adrian Leaper
  • Audio CD (4 Oct. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00000146L
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 260,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Sibelius : Concerto pour violon & orch. op.47 - Elgar : Concerto pour violon & orch. op.61 / Dong-Suk Kang, violon - Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio Nationale de Pologne - Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio Slovaque - Dir. Adrian Leaper

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dong-Suk Kang is highly respected in the international violin world, both as a top performer and a top teacher. And in my view clearly one of the very finest violinists around, his live performances truly worth making a special effort to hear. I was blown away by his Sibelius at the 1990 Proms: Another musically gifted and truly exemplary Korean violinist projecting a passionate and crystal-perfect interpretation of this special masterpiece, meanwhile I was still reeling from the Kyung-Wha Chung phenomenon of the 70s and 80s. I can't believe what a bargain this CD is. A brilliant coupling as well.

I love this performance of the Elgar: I would never have thought of Elgar being played so musically and idiomatically by a Polish Orchestra and a Korean violinist until I heard this 1991 recording. It is so musically tasteful and idiomatic, the orchestra sounding very well under Adrian Leaper playing a very sensitive and beautiful partnership with the violin. The soloist keeps the obligatory slides under sensitive and tasteful control, giving poignant voice to the Elgarian phrasing. They set a realy well-judged pace with lovely moments of stylish rubato, never over-lingering or cliché. On repeated listening, which is highly recommended, one truly gets the feeling of an over-arching complete vision of how this long concerto should unfold and hold together. Kang succeeds, right from the opening bars, in creating a sense of personal textures and sonority, projecting his beautiful individual violin voice over the orchestra. The recording engineers should be congratulated on the exceedingly pleasing sound balance and keeping the uniqueness of Kang's instrumental colour perfectly displayed. Bravo.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like the first reviewer, I have countless recordings of the Sibelius violin concerto and quite a few renderings of the Elgar. Don-Suk Kang was the soloist in the Sibelius concerto at the 1990 Proms. The perfomance received stellar reviews; his artistry was flawless. This Naxos recording of the Sibelius followed shortly after.

I have listened to great performances of both these concertos, but have never heard a more beautifully realised account of the Sibelius. His recording of the Elgar is also fabulous, with faster tempi than many other offerings.

Having collected quite a few of his other recordings (the Neilsen and Saint-Saens concertos included), I believe that he merits greater acclaim. My only quibble is that he hasn't recorded the warhorse repetoire (Beethoven etc) and I wish he would. Come on, Naxos & BIS!

If you're fond of either, or both of, the Sibelius and Elgar violin concertos, this bargain CD is not to be missed.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the most impressive performance of the Sibelius violin concerto. Dramatic, touching and breathtakingly precise. It is just incomparable. I love this concerto and have many CDs of it, however, most of them tend to be too intense that makes me hard to listen to them, probably due to its sheer virtuosity or of its difficulty to display the fullness of content, and none of them comes even close to the flawless performance of Dong-Suk Kang. One of the best of all CDs I have in my shelf. Thank naxos for such good recording for a low price. I want to try more CDs by this violinist.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing itself definitely deserves 5 stars! 1 Dec. 2003
By Kenneth - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Whenever I listen Sibelius in this CD, I usually turn up volume very high to follow Kang's impeccable articulation. The only problem on this CD is recording technology of NAXOS. They should have made a good volume balance between Sibelius and Elgar. Elgar's recording is quite excellent. But Sibelius' may require you to volume up a little, and then I'm sure there'll be no problem. I maintain 5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Elgar, Not So Great Sibelius 25 Mar. 2005
By David Roth - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine interpretation of Elgar's beautiful and difficult Violin Concerto. Kang handles the outer movements extremely adeptly and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra offers a wonderfully textured song-like performance of the main theme in the slow movement. There are bigger names (Menhuin, Heifetz, Hahn) who have recorded this Concerto, but Kang offers a serviceable if not splendid rendition of a long, difficult piece.
As for the Sibelius Concerto, I thought that the opening was played well but it loses its energy along the way. The recording itself also leaves much to be desired, as the winds and brass are hardly audible in the slow movement. While it is not the best one I've heard, Kang does a decent job handling the technical intricacies of the piece. For more illustrious recordings of the Sibelius Concerto get the Heifetz or Oistrakh recordings. Overall, I thought this CD was quite good, especially considering the price.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elgar Done Right 7 Nov. 2000
By Mark Walsh - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a great performance of Elgar's great Violin Concerto. The fact that Elgar's only violin concerto is not better known must be due to its length (performances average 45-50 minutes long), not its quality. This concerto has some very difficult violin passages, especially in the last movement; Dong-Suk Kang handles it all beautifully. The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Adrian Leaper, also plays beautifully. Leaper maintains just the right tempos so that he holds your interest for the whole 46 minutes, no easy task.
The only reason I can't give this CD a five-star review is because of the Sibelius. It's an adequate performance of Sibelius' only violin concerto, but there are much better versions of this concerto available. Kang and the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra are much to laid back for my liking, and make this concerto much less exciting than it really is.
In summary, if you want a copy of the Sibelius concerto, there are better performances available (David Oistrakh and Anne-Sophie Mutter, for example). You can probably find one for just a few extra dollars; it's worth spending the extra money. If you're buying this CD for the Elgar, you can't go wrong, especially at the budget price.
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