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Elgar: Violin Concerto / Perlman, Barenboim, Chicago So

Release Date: 03/12/1996 
Label:  Dg Masters Catalog #: 445564   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward ElgarErnest Chausson
Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
Conductor:  Daniel BarenboimZubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony OrchestraNew York Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The CD copes extremely well with even the most massive of Barenboim's tuttis and conveys the sound of the solo violin with spectacular immediacy.

"Dazzling" was EG's epithet for this performance when it first appeared on LP, and I can only echo him: fast and awkward double- stoppings that sound scratchy or imprecise in most other readings are here enunciated with seemingly effortless clarity; passages that made even Heifetz sweat a little are thrown off not only with nonchalant ease but with an engaging humour as well. Some of the pyrotechnics in the finale are negotiated with such jaunty agility that Penman actually seems to be taking his time over the movement, though his tempo is in fact extremely fast. The
Read more unfailing sweetness of tone-colour, too, is ingratiating, enriched still further as it is by a sumptuous vibrato and frequent recourse to portamento. It was, perhaps, just this combination of the utmost technical security with refined beauty of tone that Elgar had in mind when he dedicated the concerto to Fritz Kreisler. But he also avowed, in another inscription on the score, that the work "enshrined the soul" of one unknown, and of that soul 1 find rather little in this winningly exuberant reading. At fig. 16, where the soloist takes up the pensive second subject, his line is marked semplice and only later espressivo; the whole passage is here played with the same opulent warmth.

Simplicity, in fact, is what this performance lacks: Perlman exults in the grand gestures and the opportunities for virtuoso display that the concerto offers, but its more inward pages, decked with the same histrionic swoops and the same unremitting gorgeousness of colour, seem both bland and shallow. Perlman also plays very loudly for much of the time, even during the mysterious cadenza, a fault emphasized by a recording that places him so close that, for example, the beautiful accompanying figure for muted horns at fig. 27 is almost obliterated. Barenboim has more idea of what the concerto is about, and achieves real grandeur and tenderness in many passages, but his sympathetic response is at variance with the soloist and the recording, both of which seem convinced that we are here in a territory lying midway between Wieniawski and Max Bruch. The CD copes extremely well with even the most massive of Barenboim's tuttis and conveys the sound of the solo violin with spectacular immediacy.

- M.E.O., Gramophone (Review of the original release: September, 1984)
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin in B minor, Op. 61 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Itzhak Perlman (Violin)
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909-1910; England 
Date of Recording: 1981 
Počme for Violin and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 25 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Itzhak Perlman (Violin)
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; France 

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