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Violin Concertos

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 April 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca Records
  • ASIN: B0000041V8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,684 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

This was Kyung-Wha Chung's first recording, made when she was 22, just after her sensational London debut in the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the same orchestra and conductor. It is splendid. Only a young, radiantly talented player could make these two tired war horses sound so fresh and vital; only a consummately masterful one could sail through their daunting technical difficulties with such easy virtuosity and perfection. Her tone is flawlessly beautiful, varied in colour and inflection; she puts her technical resources entirely at the service of the music, giving every note meaning and honestly felt expression without exaggeration or sentimentality. The Tchaikovsky has charm, humour, sparkle; the slow movement is dreamy, wistful and unmuted but subdued and inward. The Sibelius is dark and bleak but full-blooded, passionate and intense. --Edith Eisler

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Kyung Wha Chung is one of the truly outstanding (and diffident) violinists of the 20th century. Musically and technically, she stands on the cusp of the late 20th century: the irrefutable influence of the aging Russian models of near-perfection (heifetz, milstein, oistrakh, kogan etc) and the currently evolving schools of purity and accuracy lacking personality or spirit. Anyone listening to Chung will recognise her style, as one does the Great Masters of the early-mid 20th century, but marvel at her accuracy and purity, and musical intelligence.
The Sibelius is probably the finest version on disc, taking into consideration the main competitors (Heifetz versions and possibly another Oriental virtuoso).
Strengths in Chung's performance:
a) Interpretation is 5 gold stars, dazzling and passionate, with plenty of "Fire without warmth" that characterizes Sibelius. No hint of over-romaticizing in the second movement, though it is the Heifetz versions which move me to tears with the intensity and darkness of the brilliance here.
b) Rapport with Andre Previn, who is one of the most seriously underrated conductors of his time. 5 Gold Stars.
c) Orchestral playing by the LSO at their very best. 5 Gold Stars
d) Recording quality and remastering are absolutely excellent. 5 Silver Stars.
I was awestruck by this version when I first heard it on vinyl release, and I have never tired of it after 30 years of listening on all media to date. I have no adverse comments whatever.
The Tchaikovsy is excellent, really vibrant and spontaneous. 5 Stars. I listen to the versions by Milstein (1959 stereo, Steinberg cond) and Leonid Kogan (1959 stereo, Silvestri cond) more frequently, however, for their silvery articulation. Nevertheless, I love to hear Chung's from time to time, for its freshness and recorded quality. A great performance.
You will cherish this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Tchaikovsky remains a popular composer - his melodic quality and tunefulness continue to find many a sympathetic listener, but there is nothing flippant about his work. Tchaikovsky wrote with passion: his music can express torment - both his personal confusion and the convulsions of his native Russia - but it ultimately projects an irrepressible optimism and confidence in the human spirit. Tchaikovsky presents a vulnerable aspect: the appeal of his music is often in its emotional fragility and tension, not simply its joyousness and optimism.
His violin concerto in D was written in 1878, initially designed for a young violinist friend. Kyung-Wha Chung embraces the piece with a maturity and passion why belie her years. One of her earliest recordings, this remains an outstanding rendition of the concerto. Chung plays with such delicacy you recognise that this is no sanitised, over-rehearsed studio production but a recording which is characterised by its emotional immediacy.
Backed by the LSO under Previn, this is an orchestra in its prime celebrating a soloist with outstanding potential. It's the central, slow movement which is the critical litmus to this concerto. Chung annunciates the emotions and vivacity of the work with a filigree delicacy which avoids both sentimentality and over elaboration.
The choice of the Sibelius violin concerto is a good one. Sibelius was not without his darker moods; his later works are brooding and intense. Indeed, he simply retired and wrote nothing in the thirty years before his death in 1957. The violin concerto, however, was written in 1903, revised in 1905, at a time when Sibelius' drinking was causing concern and he was persuaded to move to the country to try to bring it under control.
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By A Customer on 8 Jan. 2001
Format: Audio CD
These concerti- often dismissed as warhorses are given new life by these stupendous performances. The main theme in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky is in my opinion played with such beauty and panache that I have never heard matched . Previn accompanies superbly.
In the present climate of here today and gone tomorrow wunderkind violinists this record like Mutter's Mozart Cd is a testament to the fact that there are great musicians amongst the hype in first recordings .
Chung's playing today, now returned to the concert platform after motherhood, is even more treasurable but these early performances are unsurpassed and should be snapped up now matter how many other versions you own.
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