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The Royal Edition - Brahms, Sibelius: Concertos / Bernstein


Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 47540   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jean SibeliusJohannes Brahms
Performer:  Zino Francescatti
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sibelius's lines flow in a rich, warm glow of tone -- the whole concerto takes wings not, perhaps, as never before, but certainly as very seldom before. The Brahms is given a thorough-going romantic approach, full of feeling but also very carefully considered.

...[A] superlative version of the Sibelius... The performance Francescatti gives of the Sibelius is, technically, an impossible one: not even Heifetz plays the end of the first movement dead in tune, so it can't be done! but Francescatti does it. He also does everything else that can't be done with this concerto (as well, beginning to take things for granted, as everything that can); Sibelius's lines flow in a rich, warm glow of tone, his rhythms pulse, and,
Read more again, his chords are in tune. The orchestra are along with Francescatti, and they, too, have a rich quality of string tone and a pulsing rhythm; indeed the whole concerto takes wings not, perhaps, as never before, but certainly as very seldom before.

-- Gramophone [10/1965, reviewing the original LP release of the Sibelius]

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Francescatti himself is in splendid form. He has a bad patch just before the G major episode in the finale, but otherwise his intonation is good and his tone as sweet as ever. The slow movement is rather more expressive than usual, the finale rather more fiery. Much of the credit for this must go to the conductor, Leonard Bernstein, who can get from an orchestra a degree of rubato usually expected only of pianists playing Chopin. The orchestral introduction to the slow movement is an example. Some will find the way Bernstein points the end of each two-bar phrase too mannered for their taste, but, apart from the fact that it's clever to get an orchestra to phrase so sensitively, he certainly matches the style of the solo playing. In the first movement there are no tricks to interrupt the flow of the whole, and the music is played with impressive breadth and understanding. The cadenza is Joachim's. This is without doubt one of the best available versions of the Brahms Violin Concerto, and if you like a thorough-going romantic approach, full of feeling but also very carefully considered, this may well be the one you will like best.

-- Gramophone [12/1963, reviewing the original LP release of the Brahms]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Zino Francescatti (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1963 
Venue:  Avery Fisher Hall, New York City 
Length: 28 Minutes 13 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Zino Francescatti (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1961 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 37 Minutes 59 Secs. 

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