We had 6 votes cast. Three voters chose #5 as their favorite, two voters chose #2, and one chose #3, with violinists 1 and 4 getting less love.
A word about the numerical average: this is the average place on ballot, which means lower scores are better
. If someone's score here were reported as 1.0, they would have been ranked first on every single ballot.
Once again I conduct a "lightning round" just to help me with a MusicWeb review - and once again the CD I'm reviewing places first!
Without further ado...Fifth place: Violinist #1 (4.00)
That's an average ballot ranking of fourth place: ouch! "too literal" "too straight" "The player is not always quite in unison" "in a hurry" "way too rushed" "would have liked a bit more space and warmth in the solo part" "some aspects remind me of Heifetz"
Someone buy Pat B a steak dinner! Violinist #1 is indeed...JASCHA HEIFETZ
He's accompanied by Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony (1959).Fourth place: Violinist #3 (3.500)"some strains when playing alone for stretches (mostly in tempo and clearly enunciating the rhythm)" "Excellent tone" "I wish the Allegro was a bit perkier" "I'm going to guess Perlman, just based on the tone." "I just can't get pass the beautiful warm tone. The tempo was just perfect for me" "the orchestra had fallen asleep for the opening of the finale!"
Violinist #3 is...CHO-LIANG LIN
He's with the Philharmonia and Michael Tilson Thomas. If I may interject: this is a sound file I ripped to my hard drive something like 6 years ago, and it's only at 128 kbps. For those of you who praised the violinist's tone, please know that listening to this sample clip actually pained me because I know the CD quality sound is so much better! Cho-Liang Lin's Mendelssohn is a real sleeper classic, and if you even slightly liked this clip you should seek out the CD and really revel in how expressive Lin can be.Third place: Violinist #4 (3.333)"all sorts of nuance and detail" "Is the slower speed a smart decision or one based to hide an issue with technique?" "Slow and using the big, uniform Russian vibrato" "Very deliberate attempt to put the music before the performer." "The only disadvantage for me of the extreme slow opening was that then the finale also had to take quite a slow tempo to make musical sense.. and I think it misses a bit of the humour and light-heartedness I want from this movement."
Violinist #4 is...ANNE-SOPHIE MUTTER
The famous Karajan/sweater recording.Second place: Violinist #2 (2.167)
This performer was ranked first, second, third, and fourth, but never last. "Either the technique here is less or the player is having a bad performance, but lots of details are lost, missed or unclear." "Nice tone and probably the best dynamics of these soloists. Listening critically I can hear a couple of shaky moments" "I prefer #2 because of the dynamic range of the violin. Also, the orchestra plays with greater range." "some shaky moments" "warmth with great dynamic contrast and humour in the finale"
Violinist #2 is...DANIEL HOPE
I had originally asked the question, "Which of these five recordings is a wild card?" The answer is Daniel Hope's, since he uses the original version of the score, before Ferdinand David suggested some edits. If you listen closely near the ending of the clip you can hear a few of these changes, although the most drastic ones aren't included. (Most notably, the slow movement has a different ending and the first-movement cadenza is completely different!)First place: Violinist #5 (2.000)
Trung named this performer last place, but everyone else chose either first or second, creating the rift between the first of these remarks and all the others: "mainstream, conventional" "Very different than the rest." "Best played of the five. Rhythm is held and I could count along." "Rhythms are more articulated, giving a lively feel even though it's not particularly fast. There are variations in tempo, dynamics, and tone that are well-judged and musical." "Supreme control of technique, pacing and drive." "just a bit too showy. But heck, what a show." "gorgeous tone" "Wonderful character and charm"
Violinist #5 is...TIANWA YANG
Sinfonia Finlandia, Patrick Gallois
Unlike with the Lang Lang Chopin game, I honestly expected Tianwa Yang to win this one. That's why I deliberately pitted her against big names (Heifetz, Lin, Mutter) and the violinist du jour
(Hope) to give the rest of the violin-playing world a fighting chance. But, as you know now, and as you already knew if you've heard her Sarasate or Piazzolla, this is a very special performer. I've just had a hard time trying to find the words to explain why. As always you've been very helpful.
Thanks to everyone for playing! My review will credit you and link to this thread.
P.S. Methodological note: violinists were numbered alphabetically by family name.