This is a recording I will treasure. Here we have three fantastic violin concertos performed by one of the finest violinists of our time. Frank Peter Zimmerman isn't just a virtuosic performer, he is an incredible musician who is able to dig deep into the personality of each of these concertos. As well as the flawless technique, Zimmerman has a beguilingly sweet tone which I find irresistible in this repertoire (I wonder whether he uses gut strings...?). One could call the Szymanowski concerti 'perfumed' pieces (especially the 1st concerto, with its almost decadent impressionism), but Zimmerman shows us so much colour and imagination that it is hard not to be drawn in.
Personally I believe that his interpretation of Britten's Violin Concerto is magisterial. Like I said before, there is a sweetness to the sound and vibrato, which he maintains throughout the whole work, yet he varies his tone in order to really convey the multifarious nature of each movement. The harmonics and double/triple stopping is delivered with such assurance and clarity it is astonishing. I should also say that the orchestral contribution in all three concertos is first rate - I especially loved the colourful interjections in the Britten, brought out by a wonderfully detailed and atmospheric recorded sound.
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