Brahms: Violin Concerto, Double Concerto

Brahms: Violin Concerto, Double Concerto

by Gil Shaham
     
 
This stirring Brahms Violin Concerto, with soloist Gil Shaham and the Berlin Philharmonic led by Claudio Abbado, was recorded live at the Philharmonic's home in May 2000, and from the first phrase, one can tell the performance was something special. Abbado begins at a

Overview

This stirring Brahms Violin Concerto, with soloist Gil Shaham and the Berlin Philharmonic led by Claudio Abbado, was recorded live at the Philharmonic's home in May 2000, and from the first phrase, one can tell the performance was something special. Abbado begins at a relatively fast clip, generating a heightened sense of expectancy from the outset. And this intensity remains throughout the movement, which clocks in a couple of minutes ahead of the usual mark. Shaham's playing is nothing short of dazzling, superbly controlled, with a shimmering tone and a sense of urgency to every phrase. The Adagio, too, wastes no time, though the Berlin's winds have plenty of opportunity to shine in the opening serenade, and if the tempo of the Allegro finale is more traditional, it lacks nothing in exhilaration. The less-often-performed Double Concerto is the companion piece, a studio recording with cellist Jian Wang joining in. It may lack the frisson of a live performance, but it is eloquently turned nonetheless, with a lovely Andante of songlike beauty, and with the Gypsy-themed Vivace closing the concerto with the warm glow of an ember.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
In their performance of Brahms' "Violin Concerto," violinist Gil Shaham and conductor Claudio Abbado have created one of the warmest and most lyrical recordings of the piece in years, if not decades. Without sentimentality or self-indulgence, they have wrapped Brahms' late-summer concerto in waves of rapturous sound, singing a hymn to ineffable beauty even as it passes beneath their fingers. But when they are joined by tender-toned cellist Jian Wang in Brahms' "Double Concerto," Shaham's tone goes limp and Abbado's accompaniment goes soft, creating a bashful recording of a robust and vigorous work. Only in the passionate love duet between the soloists in the concerto's Andante do Shaham and Wang sound fully committed and wholly compelling. This disc is worth getting for the magnificent performance of the violin concerto and the ardent performance of the "Double Concerto"'s Andante, but skip the outer movements of the "Double Concerto."
New York Times - David Mermelstein
A desire for spontaneity presumably helped drive the release of this live recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto by the gifted fiddler Gil Shaham.... The Berlin Philharmonic...under Claudio Abbado's pointed direction, offers a refreshingly passionate traversal of Brahms's familiar score.
Gramophone - Edward Greenfield
In its urgency and sense of drama, [this Brahms Violin Concerto] is one of the most impressive for a long time.... Outstanding, incisive performances.
International Record Review - Julian Haylock
This is a Brahms fiddle concerto that sparkles and seduces just as surely as though Shaham were tackling Wieniawski or Tchaikovsky.... The finest concerto disc to have come my way so far this year.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/08/2002
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028946952924
catalogNumber:
469529
Rank:
147322

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77  - Johannes Brahms  - Claudio Abbado  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Gil Shaham
  2. Concerto for violin, cello, & orchestra in A minor ("Double"), Op. 102  - Johannes Brahms  - Claudio Abbado  - Jian Wang  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Gil Shaham

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gil Shaham   Primary Artist

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