- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
- Sonata for violin & piano No. 9 in A major ("Kreutzer"), Op. 47
Now this is the way to re-launch a violinist: a two-disc set of Beethoven's two most virtuosic works for violin -- the concerto and the "Kreutzer Sonata" -- performed with two of the finest accompanists in the world -- the Wiener Philharmoniker under Riccardo Muti in the concerto and Martha Argerich in the sonata. Still, young Russian violinist Vadim Repin has a clutch of first-class recordings for Erato to his credit, including terrific couplings of Shostakovich and Prokofiev's concertos. But he had previously stayed away from recording these two core repertoire works. Until now, that is. And it was totally worth the wait. Repin's clear intonation, sweet tone, and brilliant technique prove ideally appropriate for Beethoven's music. His concerto is quintessentially lyrical in execution, with intensely expressive but wonderfully graceful legato lines running through in all three movements. His sonata, on the other hand, is fabulously virtuosic with a searing opening Presto, a silken central Andante, and a headlong closing Presto. With old friend Muti, the Wiener Philharmoniker accompanies Repin with an effortless elegance that is as to the manor born. The always astounding Argerich has recorded the "Kreutzer" many times before, and her recording of the work with Gidon Kremer is one of the most exciting performances of anything ever made. But this performance with Repin, although very different, is surely in the same league. Repin's technique matches Kremer's and though he may not quite equal Kremer in overwhelming power, he might exceed him in sheer beauty of tone. Both works are superbly recorded with sound so clear it could hardly be said to be there at all. Anyone who knows Repin's work will have to hear these performances. And anyone who doesn't already know Repin's work will have to hear these performances.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of my most favorite recordings. I especially enjoy the concerto. Vadim Repin is absolutely the greatest violinist and musician. Repin and the conductor Riccardo Mutti have just incredible chemistry together. There is a lot of dialogs between violin and orchestra, thus, it is very important for the soloist and orchestra to be able to communicate in music. I think that the conductor does an amazing job understanding and following the soloist, as well as showing the best in orchestra part. This concerto is very bright and uplifting in spirit. The first movement is just sunny and hopeful. The second one is very romantic and gentle. It reminds me of some beautiful fairy-tale about perfect and very fragile love. The main theme of the third movement is very playful and kindly humorous while the second theme in violin is very sensitive and touching. The final creshendo in orchestra at the very end of the piece together with ascending passages in violin sound very bright and energizing. The last section of the theme in violin right before final chord is very gentle and humorous. This concerto would definitely leave a listener in a great mood. I always listen to this concerto in the morning in my car which helps me to smile during morning traffic and the rest of the day as well. Besides, no matter how many times I have heard it, I still discover new things in it. I really think that Repin and Mutti created an absolute masterpiece together.