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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 July 2009
All three of Bruch's concerti for violin are melodically inspired and expertly put together. The very famous No.1 (in G minor) is justly celebrated as a core piece in the violin repertoire, but it's a pity that it so completely overshadows the others. On the evidence here, any composer would be justifiably proud of Nos. 2 & 3, packed as they are with brilliant bravura, melodic distinction and warmly melting writing for the solo instrument.

Salvatore Accardo was one of the most distinguished players of the mid to late 20th century. Recorded in 1977/8, this double CD captures him in his prime - full of passion, tenderness and pyrotechnical display, when called for. The set was remastered in 1998 and the sound is full-bodied and crystal clear. The great Gewandhaus Orchestra is in the hands of one of the German masters, Kurt Masur, and they accompany Accardo with gleaming warmth and nobility. A fantasitc bargain in every respect - and you also get the lovely Scottish Fantasia, plus the Serenade for Violin and Orchestra: in all, totalling 2hrs 37 mins of inspired music making.
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There can be few music lovers who do not know the Violin Concerto No.1 in g minor by Max Bruch. But, somewhat to the composer's frustration, this is almost the only composition of his that is heard regularly in the concert hall or over the airways - either now or even during his lifetime. But Bruch wrote three formal violin concertos as well as 3 symphonies and 3 operas, much choral music, and a few lovely pieces of chamber music. To anyone who knows and loves the Violin Concerto no.1, this Philips Double CD is a real gem. All three violin concertos are here. I referred to three `formal' violin concertos because the two other pieces on these CDs are quite like concertos. There is a three-movement Serenade and the more often heard Scottish Fantasy. Although Bruch never visited Scotland he was a lover of folk music and was inspired by the novels of Sir Walter Scott. This last work is in four movements, with an Introduction, and is based on a reworking of Scottish folk tunes. The pieces are played by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Masur. The violin soloist is the brilliant Italian violinist Salvatore Accardo, and he is accompanied by the harpist Elizabeth Unger as soloist in the Scottish Fantasy. This is certainly one of the best performances I have heard of the much recorded violin concerto in g minor.

Bruch: The Complete Symphonies
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on 30 May 2014
If you like Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, you'll like this Philips Duo. Accardo plays the music with feeling, but without gilding the lily, and Masur and the Leipzig Orchestra provide warm, full-bodied support. The 1977-78 Philips sound is fine too, with the violin a little to the fore in the aural picture but certainly not obnoxiously so. The pieces on these discs were written over a period of about 30 years (1868-1901), but they all speak the same musical language to my ears. Bruch has a fine melodic gift, and the writing for the violin is very grateful. I know the First Concerto best, and it gets a fine performance here, but the second was a surprise: it's long, slow opening movement is gorgeous, and in the finale there is some high-spirited gallumphing that is most attractive, from both soloist and orchestra. There are similar high spirits in the snappier movements of the Scottish Fantasy, a very attractive piece based on Scottish folk material. Unknown to me was the late Serenade (1901) -- not all that different in feel from the other pieces, but just as lovely and just as well-played.

Given that there's a certain sameness of approach in all pieces, do you really need all this Bruch? I say, why not? Just play it selectively. Every piece has its beauties, and if you don't OD on them, you'll be fine!
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We are all familiar with Bruch's violin concerto no 1, it has been one of the top favourites of Classic FM's hall of fame for many years. However many may not be used to his no 2 and no 3, this 2 CD collection contains his complete violin concertos- all three, the serenade for violin and orchestra op 75 and the Scottish fantasy. All three are some of the finest violin concertos ever written.
This is an old recording with Salvatore Accardo and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Kurt Masur. Digitally remastered, the recording is clear and the rendition elegant and vibrant. A great recording and one not to miss if you are Bruch or classical music fan.
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on 8 July 2013
Such is the sheer beauty of Max Bruch's violin works that only a few can do justice to their heartfelt nuances. Indeed, Bruch's wonderful melodies - particularly violin - are often Jewish-like, although "Christian" was of Catholic origins.
Accardo's emotional delivery of 'The Third' Violin Concerto leaves one just aching to press the 'repeat' button; the 'adagio' is so tenderly caressed. Solo and Orchestra in perfect unity, this almost unknown and un-played masterpiece is simply wonderful !
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on 28 March 2015
The violin music of Bruch is well-known and much-loved. Salvatore Accardo is well-tried and proven in this repertoire and the Leipsig orchestra under Kurt Masur are near faultless in their support. As a consequence, the less-often heard 2nd and 3rd concertos are to be fully appreciated - not having the excellence of the 1st but to be responded to in their own right. These are visions for the violin.
The more incidental music adds good value to this double disc and the recording, though not having quite the clarity of contemporary digital recordings, is, nevertheless, very acceptable in terms of its orchestral detail and instrumental precision - warm and personal.
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on 21 November 2014
I have been listening to Max Bruch's violin concertos since I was a teenager. And although the first concerto is the 'famous' one, I have never been able to have a favourite: each one is so sublime, beautiful, moving and uplifting. Those who are only acquainted with the first and appreciate it's beauty will never regret getting to know the other two. And here you have all three together in the best interpretation of all time. Kurt Masur's understanding of and empathy with Bruch's work is unquestionable, and violinist Salvatore Accardo's exquisite caress of the pieces is unrivalled. And you have the Scottish Fantasy and Serenade for Violin and Orchestra thrown in for good measure. One of the most beautiful classical cds in existence.
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on 25 August 2011
Love this music! This is obviously an analogue recording that has made for vinyl some years back and is transferred to CD. I knew that when I bought it as I've always loved Salvatore Accardo's fiery and passionate playing, and wanted a copy of this. I've played the no. 3 over and over as it's so good. You might be able to get a better modern digital recording with a different artist, but don't worry, there aren't any scratches or blemishes as this wasn't copied from the vinyl! One of my favourites!
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on 25 July 2015
A superbly played and recorded CD, which vastly exceeds my 'budget' expectations, my first taste of Bruch's music has been a true delight, an experience which will be repeated frequently in the future.
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on 13 February 2014
No wonder Bruch was annoyed that the first concerto was popular at the expense of everything else he wrote. All the effort into composing wonderful works to have them virtually ignored. True its very good but to my mind the 2nd concerto and indeed the 3rd are equally enjoyable as is the serenade and fantasy. The sound is good and performances exemplary. Lovely music!
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