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Russian Violin Concertos / Fischer, Kreizberg, Russian NO

Release Date: 12/14/2004 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186059   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Aram KhachaturianSergei ProkofievAlexander Glazunov
Performer:  Julia Fischer
Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A striking début sees a young violinist doing full justice to a work she loves.

I first heard Julia Fischer in 1995 as a 12-year-old in the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition. Not only did she win outright in the junior category, she was manifestly more inspired than anyone in the senior category. A DVD of The Four Seasons aside (BBC/Opus Arte, 12/02), we have had to wait until now for her first CD. As she explains in the booklet-notes, she has an abiding love of the Khachaturian Concerto, a work she found impossible to sell to concert-promoters.

The freshness of her way with the Khachaturian, recorded last May in Moscow, is immediately striking in the chattering figuration of the opening, and she
Read more brings a rare tenderness to the lyrical second subject. The orchestral sound is impressive, too. Though Itzhak Perlman and Lydia Mordkovitch produce a beefier sound, the refinement of Fischer’s performance makes it equally compelling. This concerto has claims to be the composer’s finest work, claims which the yearning tenderness of the slow movement support. The clarity of Fischer’s performance in the finale brings lightness and sparkle.

In the Glazunov, too, it is the clarity and subtlety of Fischer’s playing that marks her reading out. She finds the tenderness of the slow middle section of this one-movement work, and gives an easy swing to the bouncy rhythms of the final section. In the Prokofiev, she takes a meditative view of the wistful melodies, the element, she says, that most attracts her, even if she does not quite reach the depths of Kyung-Wha Chung’s version.

A unique coupling, superbly recorded, that could hardly be more recommendable.

-- Edward Greenfield, GRAMOPHONE


Julia Fischer enjoys an excellent reputation among budding violinists, particularly in Germany, and this debut recording confirms the promising reports. It's also a nice collection of not-overplayed music, and I particularly enjoyed seeing the Prokofiev coupled with something other than more Prokofiev. It's a fine performance too: Fischer captures the mercurial central scherzo's quicksilver passagework very well indeed, though I miss something of Oistrakh's warmth and passion in the outer movements. Like Hilary Hahn, Fischer can sound a touch cool, but that's a plus in the other two concertos as far as I am concerned. Both are lovely, but both can turn schmaltzy very easily, and they don't here. The Glazunov sparkles, and I was impressed by Fischer's ability to sustain the long central andante.

The Khatchaturian always sounds long for its material, but this performance takes the music seriously, and Fischer more than holds her own in the outer movements where the violin needs to be able to confront the orchestra fearlessly in their ongoing dialog. In the lengthy andante, once again Fischer projects passion and sincerity without excessive histrionics. Yakov Kreizberg, a fine conductor, offers well-drilled accompaniments from an orchestra obviously at home in the idiom, and sonically this is one of the best productions yet from Pentatone in multichannel format--realistic placement, good balances, and not too much rear channel. I look forward to hearing more of Julia Fischer. She's clearly a talent to watch, even given the glut of fine young fiddlers on the scene today. Pentatone should treat her well--and plan future releases as carefully and as intelligently as this one. [3/17/2005]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

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

Concerto for Violin in D minor by Aram Khachaturian
Performer:  Julia Fischer (Violin)
Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USSR 
Concerto for Violin no 1 in D major, Op. 19 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Julia Fischer (Violin)
Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 82 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Julia Fischer (Violin)
Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Russia 

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