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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 November 2013
If you like the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, then you will like these. Much as I like Tchaikovsky, I'm not a huge fan of the Violin Concerto, but it requires all a violinist's skill to put over (see Midori/ Abbado on Sony), and these pieces make the same kinds of demands. Tasmin Little is up to the challenge, the Hyperion sound is warm and pleasant, and Brabbins has the BBC Scottish players on their toes. Of the two concertos here, I prefer the Karlowicz, which seems a bit less fussy in its opening movement and where the orchestral part, to my ears, makes better expressive sense in relation to the solo line. The slow movement exploits the lyrical potentialities of the instrument to fine effect, and the final movement pulls out all the stops with a vigorous and charming vivace conclusion. The same might be said of the Moskowski in his final two movements, but the first movement seems not to work quite so well -- although perhaps it is more ambitiously structured, with its cadenza-like opening taking one by surprise, because the orchestra's opening tutti had not led one to expect that. That might be counted a bold stroke, but the passagework in that opening cadenza doesn't fall too gratefully on the ear (two later cadenza-like interruptions go better), and its relation to the other thematic material, both from soloist and orchestra, wasn't apparent to me. It sounded like a surprise effect for its own sake. With that reservation -- and that just might be my problem, not Moskowski's -- this is a fine disc. The filler is an 11+ minute Moskowski Ballade, so it's a well-filled disc. My only other quibble is that I would like the orchestra just a bit more forward in the aural picture to add a bit more weight to its warmth and to balance with the solo instrument just a little better. Little isn't over-highlighted, however, and she's a delight to hear
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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