Best performance of Sibelius violin concerto?
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Thinking of expanding my collection of Sibelius violin concerto CDs. I currently have:
Joshua Bell- my favorite
Midori- a little soft for my tastes
Maxim Vengerov- sadly, Maxim makes a few too mistakes in his playing.

Also considering Heifetz, Cho-lin Liang(?), others please recommend.
 
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The Heifetz is fabuous--I heard it just yesterday by an odd coincidence--, though as you might expect the sound isn't so hot. A couple of years back I saw A-S Mutter give a superb performance on TV--this must have made it to CD somewhere...
 
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I would seriously consider getting some old recordings: Heifetz, Oistrakh and Ginette Neveu. I like Oistrakh best out of the three; I find Heifetz as usual take too insane tempi as usual. Neveu, she'll absolutely mesmerize you with that sound in the second movement. Ohhh my. Her tempi are too sluggish, however, and the interpretation is too romantic.

I liked Josh Bell's recording too, although it's not my favourite.

Man, I love that concerto... Especially that gorgeous second movement. The thrid movement is quite a bitch to play, though. Especially those damn chords.

OH! I just remembered: Leonidas Kavakos released a recording a few years ago of BOTH versions of the Sibelius; the new one that we hear today, and the ORIGINAL version that he decided to trash after the premiere went badly. Very very interesting listen.
 
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I second the suggestion of the Oistrakh recording with Ormandy on EMI - certainly one of the best ever.

However, my favourite is Mullova with the Boston SO conducted by Ozawa, closely followed by Kyung Wha Chung with Andre Previn conducting on Decca.

Ross
 
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I haven't listened to any of the newer recordings. Among the old ones I've had, Kyung Wha Chung's debut recording (around 1970) impressed me the most.
 
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Anne-Sophie Mutter did a really nice recording on Deutsche Grammophon, I'd recommend it, although the Heifetz is really rather nice, isn't it?

Andrew
 
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If you don't mind a mono recording, I'd say Kulenkampff / Furtwangler. An awe inspiring performance. Among stereos, I think Heifetz is not surpassed, cold but perfectly played, and coldness fits character of the work well.
 
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I heard Nigel Kennedy/ Birmingham on the radio today. Violin: OK; Orchestra: weak. Not recommended.
 
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Ruggiero Ricci and the Bochum Symphony. Beautiful, close miked, impassioned violin playing. Orchestra sounds as though it is being pumped into the auditorium via loudspeakers. (Turnabout Quadrophonic LP).
 
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I can give the thumbs up to the Gil Shaham/Philharmonia/Sinopoli combination (1991):-

This one too is close miked, which is great except that the woodwinds get lost a bit. He can play the notes, although the performance has quite a few over-bowing sounds, which may or may not appeal.

Actually my favourite track on this disc is the second movement of the Tchaikovsky, which is surprising since I have been known to fall asleep during slow movements.
For the Tchaikovsky they also solved the mysterious case of the disappearing woodwinds.



BTW, "4D Audio" was just an unfortunate name for Deutsche Grammophon's best technology of the time, which had nothing to do with spatial dimensions. It was a 4-pronged digital recording method involving remote controlled microphone amplifiers placed near the mics, DAC's similarly placed out in the auditorium near those amplifiers, 21 bit sampling and digital feeds back to the mixing desk.
 
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I just picked up the EMI LP of Gidon Kremer with Muti and the Philharmonia. The violin is wonderfully controlled, though some might think it too controlled. Just a little muddy in the low, growly orchestral parts, perhaps. And this is a good bargain since it is paired with the rarely performed Schumann concerto.
 
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i don't really like heifetz's that much. perhaps the coldness fits that of a finnish climate, but i grew up in the subtropics, so i'm not quite at home with his tempi/sound... heh... u can hear in so many passages the orchestra trying too hard to keep up with him... sorry, but doesn't do it for me.


i loved kyung wha chung's recording, but if u found midori's too soft, i don't know if u'd dig chung's...

as a compromise, i think AS Mutter's is fabulous, so i would definitely recommend her's.

however, since fiddler seems like quite an authority on violin music, u should seriously consider his/her recommendations. god knows when i get back to taipei, i'll have collated a list of his/her recommended listenings and will zip to the nearest fnac to give every one a thorough listening... and emerge a much poorer student... hehe...
 
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do any of you guys hear the "sniffling" on the Joshua Bell Violin Concerto, specifically the Karl Goldmark rendition?
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by insanefred
Anne-Sophie Mutter did a really nice recording on Deutsche Grammophon, I'd recommend it, although the Heifetz is really rather nice, isn't it?

Andrew


Those are the exact two (and only two) I have. Of course everyone's entitled to their opinion, but isn't Heifetz' technique just mind-blowing? In any case, it's fun to listen to, but maybe slower takes let you hear better what you're missing when it's all whizzing by. Argh, but I hate buying more versions of the same core repertoire, when there's so much I haven't heard - don't other people have this problem??
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by fiddler
OH! I just remembered: Leonidas Kavakos released a recording a few years ago of BOTH versions of the Sibelius; the new one that we hear today, and the ORIGINAL version that he decided to trash after the premiere went badly. Very very interesting listen.


Interesting. fiddler, is this the only recording with the "original" version? How's the performance?

Hmm, I hope I'll be able to find it for sale somewhere...
 
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