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Brahms, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Heifetz, Reiner

Release Date: 07/26/2005 
Label:  Rca Victor Living Stereo Catalog #: 67896   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

*** This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. ***

In the very early days of Fanfare , one critic dismissed Heifetz as a relic, soon to be ignored. Of course that’s turned out to be utterly false; the Heifetz blend of fire and ice has been tremendously influential since then, and the somewhat more romantic elements of his playing are coming back into vogue (not that, in his maturity, Heifetz was given to romantic extremes). Just think about Itzhak Perlman, whose entire career has been an effort to play like Heifetz (to the extent of appropriating the more Read more oddball elements of his repertoire) while being loved like Kreisler. Heifetz retired 35 years ago, but his style is still very much with us. So are his recordings.

Little need be said about these justly famous performances from 1955 and 1957. The Brahms has great drive—Heifetz and Reiner get through it in 35 minutes—but this never comes at the expense of Heifetz’s singing tone. Heifetz provides his own cadenza, which is suitably virtuosic but not alien to the Brahms style. From soloist and orchestra alike, this is a note-perfect performance in a vivid recording, about which more later. The Tchaikovsky offers more of the same, although in this case the brevity (just under 30 minutes) has more to do with a small cut than with speed. The performance is extroverted yet elegant, truly debonair, benefiting from the soloist’s rich tone and sustained phrasing and Reiner’s incisive partnership.

This is one of the RCA Living Stereo hybrid SACDs, two-track in the case of the Brahms and three in the Tchaikovsky. In the Brahms, the orchestra is string-dominant, with winds and brass comparatively submerged most of the time, although Heifetz seems naturally positioned, closer to the orchestra than to the listener. The orchestra is better balanced in the Tchaikovsky. All in all, this is the best sonic presentation of these recordings yet.

FANFARE: James Reel
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1955 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 34 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Jascha Heifetz performs his own cadenza. 
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/19/1957 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 29 Minutes 30 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Music to my novice ears November 18, 2018 By Ferrell Foster See All My Reviews "I cannot write with any expertise, but I've been listening to this album for a number of years and find the music and performance beautiful." Report Abuse
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