Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Prokofiev: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / Shaham, Previn


Release Date: 04/09/1996 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 447758   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Gil Shaham
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rarely has there been such a performance as this, in which soloist, orchestra and conductor connect with such unerring intuition, and the music — rather than its superficial display potential — is treated so naturally.

Two or three minutes into the first movement of the First Concerto and I had already forgotten such concepts as 'virtuoso' or 'orchestral support', focusing instead on a single phenomenon: Sergey Prokofiev. Devoted as I am to earlier interpreters of these two masterpieces (especially Oistrakh in the First and Heifetz in the Second), I can honestly say that I have never encountered performances where soloist, orchestra and conductor connect with such unerring intuition, where the music — rather than its
Read more superficial display potential — is treated so naturally. Previn ushers in the First Concerto's crystalline opening with gentle intensity, raising the curtain for Gil Shaham's warmly tended first entry. Both make great play with the march theme that follows (although the upward solo scale and orchestral 'tail' at 219" could have been better synchronized). The effect is like spicy gossip shared between friends while the Scherzo is equally rich in dialogue: note how nimbly flute mirrors violin eight seconds in, whereas the swaggering first trio sounds appropriately boorish (say, at 102"). Shaham's tone is at its most expressive at the beginning of the third movement, and at its most delicate at 421", just prior to the last big climax.

This natural exegesis extends to the darker Second Concerto, even where Shaham or Previn linger about a particular phrase (as Shaham does in his very first entry, or Previn does when he pauses before the final bars of the second movement). The recording, too, is extremely impressive, with well defined string lines and a fine body of winds, brass and percussion (the all-important bass drum especially), although I should, I suppose, mention a rather tentative horn at 125" into the first movement. Still, note how, beyond the raucous happenings of the second movement's central episode, the violins waft back with the principal theme (at 656"). Similar felicities occur regularly throughout both concertos, while the Second's finale — a riotous, slightly tongue-in-cheek danse macabre — is here sensibly paced and very well articulated. And as if all that weren't enough, Shaham treats us to a substantial encore in the lively Solo Sonata that Prokofiev intended to be performed in unison by a group of young players.

Although hardly on the level of the concertos, the voice is unmistakable and this particular performance as bright as a button. An excellent CD.

-- Robert Cowan, Gramophone [6/1996]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in D major, Op. 19 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 21 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in G minor, Op. 63 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 26 Minutes 28 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Violin solo in D major, Op. 115 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Gil Shaham (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 11 Minutes 10 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto No.1 in D, Op.19: 1. Andantino
Violin Concerto No.1 in D, Op.19: 2. Scherzo. Vivacissimo
Violin Concerto No.1 in D, Op.19: 3. Moderato
Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.63: 1. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.63: 2. Andante assai
Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.63: 3. Allegro, ben marcato
Sonata for Solo Violin, Op.115: 1. Moderato
Sonata for Solo Violin, Op.115: 2. Andante dolce
Sonata for Solo Violin, Op.115: 3. Con brio

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In