Notes and Editorial Reviews
Sarah Chang is certainly an exceptional player; her finely produced tone is characteristically sweet, yet she varies it most imaginatively — in the Concerto's slow movement, for instance, where she follows the changing shades of emotion in the most detailed way. The first movement may have been recorded with more strongly expressed feeling (by Boris Belkin), its finale with more mercurial displays of virtuosity (Xue-Wei), but overall Chang is the equal of any, with relaxed technical command and real feeling for the music. The accompaniment is well balanced and cleanly recorded, with distinguished solo contributions from woodwind and horns.
The Sonata's individuality and complexity show how far Strauss, at 23, had travelled
from the clever and appealing, but not especially original Concerto of five years before. Yet here, too, Chang has the measure of the music, supported by some notably mellow, but still passionate piano playing. Alongside his distinguished conducting career, Sawallisch has certainly kept his piano technique in good order. Chang and Sawallisch don't point the dramatic contrasts with the same force that Kremer and Maisenberg do, but they more than compensate through their keen sense of the music's emotional impetus. In the central Andante Chang introduces some beautiful 'period' portamentos, and she and Sawallisch together achieve, for a movement entitled 'improvisation', just the right sense of freedom. Only the finale is slightly disappointing — Heifetz and Sindor showed in 1934 how it's possible to give full measure to the emotional intensity and scherzando element. By their side Chang and Sawallisch seem just a bit easygoing. It's still a splendidly exciting, idiomatic performance, though. Strongly recommended.
-- Duncan Druce, Gramophone [3/2000]
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 by Richard Strauss
Sarah Chang (Violin)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1880-1882; Germany
Venue: Herkulessaal der Residenz, Münich
Length: 30 Minutes 34 Secs.
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