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Posted October 1, 2010
That Esa-Pekka Salonen and Cho-Liang Lin have enjoyed a strong collaborative affinity over the past years is well known and their recordings never fail to satisfy, no matter the composer's works at hand. But this now restored 1990 recording of the fiendishly difficult Sibelius and Nielsen Violin Concerti with Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is once again proof that few musicians understand these works as well as the partnership of Salonen and Lin. Lin's sumptuous, golden tone is never forced out of focus even in the most rapid sequences of the Sibelius. His intonation and phrasing are right in the middle of the target and his integration with the orchestral fabric is so natural that when exposed phrases emerge it is as though the entire string section is distilled into one instrument. The second movement is one of the most beautiful ever recorded, with Lin and Salonen bringing all the understated Nordic passion into full flower. The Nielsen is rarely performed and the reasons are unclear, especially hearing the way the concerto works so well in these collaborators' hands. The performance is bracing and makes the most of Nielsen's extended melodic lines. If there is a 'flaw' to be found, it is in the recorded sound of the orchestras though this 2004 re-mastering improves on original 1990 recording But that is a small flaw in a recording of this importance, one that justly deserves the Great Performances Series inclusion. Highly Recommended. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.