- Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Sz. 112, BB 117
- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2; Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertoby Valeriy Sokolov
Now one of the most beloved concertos in the violin repertoire, it's difficult to imagine a time when the Tchaikovsky concerto was not well-received and celebrated. But in fact, the concerto's intended dedicatee was very sour on the work, terming it unplayable. Eduard Hanslick, the influential music critic, also railed against the composition. The public, however, was quite fond of the lyrical, rich, and technically demanding work, helping elevate it to its current standing. Joining the Tchaikovsky on this Virgin Classics disc is Bartók's "Second Violin Concerto," a surprisingly upbeat, optimistic work given that it was written while fascism was marching ever closer to Hungary. Performing these two contrasting concertos is Ukraine-born violinist Valeriy Sokolov with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under David Zinman. Sokolov's technical prowess is impressive, putting to shame Auer's assertion that the Tchaikovsky concerto is unplayable, instead delivering even the most pyrotechnic passages with brilliance, clarity, and ease. The Bartók is appropriately assertive and filled with wonderfully contrasting tone colors from glass-like stillness to edgy, gritty, in-the-string playing. The only thing Sokolov does not demonstrate on this disc is a big, powerful sound. In the most densely accompanied sections, the solo violin is only just audible. Even when playing alone, Sokolov is not as present as one might hope for.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsValeriy Sokolov Primary Artist
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A great and different combination of one of the popular Tchaikovsky and the less frequently performed bartok. Sokolov is magnificent in both great concertos. A must buy.