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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 06:40:24 AM

Title: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 06:40:24 AM
Please correct me if I am wrong but I cannot seem to find a dedicated thread for the Brahms Violin Concerto. A work of this quality and beauty certainly deserves one I should think.


This is undoubtedly a work on a grand scale. The monumental opening movement is somewhat akin to the Beethoven violin concerto [a not unusual trait for Brahms]. Its proportions are large but the textures are rich as opposed to ponderous, an example being the opening bars. The important point where the solo violin enters is well crafted. We are awakened from a dreamlike phase and we have a wonderful build up of tension out of which the soloist emerges. This eventually leads us to a very beautiful, poignant lyrical theme. There is some radiant music in here. The development section is a fine mixture of fiery and lyrical elements. The concerto was dedicated to Joseph Joachim and it is his cadenza which is usually [although not always] played in performances of the work. The cadenza at the end of the movement does not lead to a grand tutti finale but rather to a gentle reprise of the original lyrical theme and it is wonderfully done.

A haunting melody played on the oboe opens the Adagio movement. It vies for top spot, in is simplistic beauty, with any other orchestral melody that I have heard. This achingly beautiful passage of music is then continued with a variation on the oboe theme played by the solo violin. This is not romantic mush but rather serene beauty; a truly wonderful piece of music. This is one of the most ravishing pieces of music that I know.

The final movement is a wonderful contrast to the Adagio movement. It is infused with joyous and  energetic Gypsy-like music, again not an unusual trait for Brahms. There is great forward momentum in the music and the movement concludes with a suitably fine Finale.


Any novice to classical music who has not heard this concerto should definitely give it a listen.




I have just recently finished listening to all of the versions that I have in my collection. To get this thread started and for reference I will list them here:


Heifetz + Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Reiner
Krebbers + Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam/Haitink
Kremer + Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernstein
Little + Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Handley
Milstein + Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra/Steinberg
Oistrakh + Cleveland Orchestra/Szell
Oistrakh + Orchestre de la Radiodiffusion Francaise/Klemperer
Oistrakh + State Radio Symphony Orchestra USSR/Kondrashin
Oistrakh + Saxon Staatskapelle Dresden/Konwitschny
Stern + Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
Szeryng + London Symphony Orchestra/Dorati
Szeryng + London Symphony Orchestra/Monteux


What is your favourite version of this work?
What recommendations would you make for essential inclusion in a collection?
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Dee Sharp on November 20, 2016, 07:29:18 AM
My first recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto was Heifitz/Reiner (on vinyl) and remains a favourite today. Of the current crop of recordings that I've heard, I can highly recommend Lisa Batiashvili with Thielemann/Staatskapelle Dresden. Extremely engaging. I also love Viktoria Mullova's and Julia Fischer's recordings.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51K5HFeq%2BrL._SY355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Herman on November 20, 2016, 09:07:16 AM
Strange thing is I can't say I really have a favorite recording. It just changes. The new Janine Jansen recording is very interesting, but I'm sure a new one will come along. Of the classic recordings I like Heifetz and Oistrakh.

I do have to take issue with the view that the Brahms concerto is a sister work to the Beethoven. I think these pieces could not be more different. Beethoven's concerto is in many ways an exercise in musical humility; the material is so simple that the onus really is on the soloist and the conductor to prevent  sag.
The Brahms, on the other hand, is chock full with tension and technical challenges, even for today's players.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: North Star on November 20, 2016, 09:11:41 AM
Two modern, and rather different, recordings I recommend: Shaham/Abbado/Berlin and Repin/Chailly/Gewandhaus


Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Ghost Sonata on November 20, 2016, 09:21:48 AM
Please correct me if I am wrong but I cannot seem to find a dedicated thread for the Brahms Violin Concerto. A work of this quality and beauty certainly deserves one I should think...


So glad you love it so - it's a remarkable achievement and overwhelmed me when I first heard it over forty years ago.  Truth to tell, no recording of it I've yet listened to disappoints entire, not even Kennedy's (Tennstedt and LPO) tortoise-like performance which I nevertheless regard as an intelligent and sensitive interpretation.  I have two favorites : Joshua Bell's with Dohnányi and Milstein's with Steinberg.  But the one I listen to most these days is Neveu's (her signature work) for her expression and the level of detail she brings to it (check out her nimble double stops).   
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Ghost Sonata on November 20, 2016, 09:22:44 AM
Strange thing is I can't say I really have a favorite recording. It just changes. The new Janine Jansen recording is very interesting, but I'm sure a new one will come along. Of the classic recordings I like Heifetz and Oistrakh.

I do have to take issue with the view that the Brahms concerto is a sister work to the Beethoven. I think these pieces could not be more different. Beethoven's concerto is in many ways an exercise in musical humility; the material is so simple that the onus really is on the soloist and the conductor to prevent  sag.
The Brahms, on the other hand, is chock full with tension and technical challenges, even for today's players.

Quite agree!
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: king ubu on November 20, 2016, 09:39:34 AM
Hard to mention a favourite recording for me, too ... but I love the ones by Ginette Neveu, perhaps the one with Schmidt-Isserstedt a bit better than the others. But I'd have to do a proper comparative listen. The Brahms and Mendelssohn concertos are the most popular ones in my collection ... of both I have amasssed (mostly via box sets, so while I wanted stuff by the respective musician - or in some cases: label -, I might not have gone for his/her Brahms concerto individually ... but that's no real excuse for the amazing number of 44 versions  :o - the fact that one is just a one-mvt excerpt doesn't change the picture much - just in case, the follower is Schumann's pc with 42, Cortot, Michelangeli and Richter leading the pack with three each).

The Brahms'es:

Fritz Kreisler, Staatskapelle Berlin, Leo Blech, 1927 (cadenzas: Kreisler)
Fritz Kreisler, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Barbirolli, 1936 (cadenzas: Kreisler)
Jascha Heifetz, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, 1937 (cadenza: Auer, arr. Heifetz)
Georg Kulenkampff, Berliner Philharmoniker, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, 1937
Jascha Heifetz, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, 1939 (cadenza: Auer, arr. Heifetz)
Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Staatskapelle Dresden, Karl Böhm, 1940
Yehudi Menuhin, New Friends of Music Orchestra, Georg Schnéevoigt, live 1940
Ginette Neveu, Philharmonia Orchestra, Issay Dobrowen, 1946
Joseph Szigeti, Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Dimitri Mitropoulos, live 1948
Ginette Neveu, Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, live 1948
Ginette Neveu, Orchestre National de France, Roger Desormière, live 1948
Ginette Neveu, Den Haag Residentie Orchestra, Antal Dorati, 1949
Yehudi Menuhin, Lucerne Festival, Orchestra, Wilhelm Furtwängler, 1949
Gioconda de Vito, RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester, Ferenc Fricsay, 1951
Gioconda de Vito, Orchestra sinfonica di Torino della RAI, Wilhelm Furtwängler, 1952 (III - Alllegro giocoso)
Gioconda de Vito, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rudolf Schwarz, 1953
David Oistrakh, Staatskapelle Dresden, Franz Konwitschny, 1954
Johanna Martzy, Philharmonia Orchestra, Paul Kletzki, 1954
Christian Ferras, Wiener Philharmoniker, Carl Schuricht, 1954
Leonid Kogan, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Charles Bruck, 1955
Jascha Heifetz, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, 1955
Erica Morini, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Artur Rodzinsky, 1956
Yehudi Menuhin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rudolf Kempe, 1957
Leonid Kogan, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, live 1958
Henry Szeryng, London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, 1958
Berl Senofsky, New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli, live 1959
Isaac Stern, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, live 1959
Isaac Stern, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, 1959
Nathan Milstein, Philharmonia Orchestra, Anatole Fistoulari, 1960
David Oistrakh, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Otto Klemperer, 1960
Zino Francescatti, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, 1961
Henryk Szeryng, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati, 1962
Yehudi Menuhin, Philharmonia Orchestra, Paul Kletzki, 1963
Christian Ferras, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan, 1964
David Oistrakh, Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, 1969
Zino Francescatti, ORTF, Erich Leinsdorf, live 1969
Michael Rabin, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Zoltán Rozsnyai, 1970
Henryk Szeryng, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink, 1973
Gidon Kremer, Wiener Philharmoniker, Leonard Bernstein, live 1982
Yehudi Menuhin, Gewandhausorchester, Kurt Masur, 1982 (DVD)
Thomas Zehetmair, Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnányi, 1989
Patrice Fontanarosa, Orchestre Symphonique Française, Laurent Petitgirard, 1991
Hilary Hahn, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Neville Mariner, 2001
Viktor Tretiakov, State Academy Symphony Orchestra of the USSR, Yuri Temirkanov, unknown date

Certainly, the Ferras/Karajan does rank highly on my list, as does the Martzy/Kletzki.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 12:01:35 PM
My first recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto was Heifitz/Reiner (on vinyl) and remains a favourite today. Of the current crop of recordings that I've heard, I can highly recommend Lisa Batiashvili with Thielemann/Staatskapelle Dresden. Extremely engaging. I also love Viktoria Mullova's and Julia Fischer's recordings.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51K5HFeq%2BrL._SY355_.jpg)

Thank you for that. I bought a version of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Batiashvili as the soloist and I was very impressed.  :)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 12:04:58 PM
Strange thing is I can't say I really have a favorite recording. It just changes. The new Janine Jansen recording is very interesting, but I'm sure a new one will come along. Of the classic recordings I like Heifetz and Oistrakh.

I do have to take issue with the view that the Brahms concerto is a sister work to the Beethoven. I think these pieces could not be more different. Beethoven's concerto is in many ways an exercise in musical humility; the material is so simple that the onus really is on the soloist and the conductor to prevent  sag.
The Brahms, on the other hand, is chock full with tension and technical challenges, even for today's players.

I can understand one not having a favourite as only one in my collection did not hit the high standards of the others but it was still good.

Of course the Beethoven and Brahms concertos are different and I did not say that it was a sister to the Beethoven concerto but I do see echoes of Beethoven there. I think specifically of the proportions, the key, the tempi, the temperament of the work, how the soloist enters as well as other issues. These things can well be a matter of perception but, as in his first symphony, I do see a nod backwards in the direction of the old master and I am not saying that this is a bad thing.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 12:06:18 PM
Two modern, and rather different, recordings I recommend: Shaham/Abbado/Berlin and Repin/Chailly/Gewandhaus




Thank you for the recommendations. I am not overly familiar with either violinist, perhaps Repin a little more so.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 12:09:52 PM
So glad you love it so - it's a remarkable achievement and overwhelmed me when I first heard it over forty years ago.  Truth to tell, no recording of it I've yet listened to disappoints entire, not even Kennedy's (Tennstedt and LPO) tortoise-like performance which I nevertheless regard as an intelligent and sensitive interpretation.  I have two favorites : Joshua Bell's with Dohnányi and Milstein's with Steinberg.  But the one I listen to most these days is Neveu's (her signature work) for her expression and the level of detail she brings to it (check out her nimble double stops).

Yes it is a wonderful, momentous work. Milstein's version would perhaps be my favourite. I do not know the Neveu so I will have to investigate that one. I think that Bell includes a different cadenza if I am not mistaken? Thank you for the recommendations.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 20, 2016, 12:12:20 PM
The Brahms'es:

Fritz Kreisler, Staatskapelle Berlin, Leo Blech, 1927 (cadenzas: Kreisler)
Fritz Kreisler, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Barbirolli, 1936 (cadenzas: Kreisler)
Jascha Heifetz, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, 1937 (cadenza: Auer, arr. Heifetz)
Georg Kulenkampff, Berliner Philharmoniker, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, 1937
Jascha Heifetz, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, 1939 (cadenza: Auer, arr. Heifetz)
Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Staatskapelle Dresden, Karl Böhm, 1940
Yehudi Menuhin, New Friends of Music Orchestra, Georg Schnéevoigt, live 1940
Ginette Neveu, Philharmonia Orchestra, Issay Dobrowen, 1946
Joseph Szigeti, Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Dimitri Mitropoulos, live 1948
Ginette Neveu, Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, live 1948
Ginette Neveu, Orchestre National de France, Roger Desormière, live 1948
Ginette Neveu, Den Haag Residentie Orchestra, Antal Dorati, 1949
Yehudi Menuhin, Lucerne Festival, Orchestra, Wilhelm Furtwängler, 1949
Gioconda de Vito, RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester, Ferenc Fricsay, 1951
Gioconda de Vito, Orchestra sinfonica di Torino della RAI, Wilhelm Furtwängler, 1952 (III - Alllegro giocoso)
Gioconda de Vito, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rudolf Schwarz, 1953
David Oistrakh, Staatskapelle Dresden, Franz Konwitschny, 1954
Johanna Martzy, Philharmonia Orchestra, Paul Kletzki, 1954
Christian Ferras, Wiener Philharmoniker, Carl Schuricht, 1954
Leonid Kogan, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Charles Bruck, 1955
Jascha Heifetz, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, 1955
Erica Morini, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Artur Rodzinsky, 1956
Yehudi Menuhin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rudolf Kempe, 1957
Leonid Kogan, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, live 1958
Henry Szeryng, London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, 1958
Berl Senofsky, New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli, live 1959
Isaac Stern, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, live 1959
Isaac Stern, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, 1959
Nathan Milstein, Philharmonia Orchestra, Anatole Fistoulari, 1960
David Oistrakh, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Otto Klemperer, 1960
Zino Francescatti, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, 1961
Henryk Szeryng, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati, 1962
Yehudi Menuhin, Philharmonia Orchestra, Paul Kletzki, 1963
Christian Ferras, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan, 1964
David Oistrakh, Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, 1969
Zino Francescatti, ORTF, Erich Leinsdorf, live 1969
Michael Rabin, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Zoltán Rozsnyai, 1970
Henryk Szeryng, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink, 1973
Gidon Kremer, Wiener Philharmoniker, Leonard Bernstein, live 1982
Yehudi Menuhin, Gewandhausorchester, Kurt Masur, 1982 (DVD)
Thomas Zehetmair, Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnányi, 1989
Patrice Fontanarosa, Orchestre Symphonique Française, Laurent Petitgirard, 1991
Hilary Hahn, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Neville Mariner, 2001
Viktor Tretiakov, State Academy Symphony Orchestra of the USSR, Yuri Temirkanov, unknown date

Certainly, the Ferras/Karajan does rank highly on my list, as does the Martzy/Kletzki.

All that I can say is WOW  :o  8)

I will have to go through that list a little later.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Ghost Sonata on November 20, 2016, 12:18:32 PM
...I think that Bell includes a different cadenza if I am not mistaken?...

Yup, it's his own, adding to the considerable number of them (around 20 if memory serves)!
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: king ubu on November 20, 2016, 01:42:45 PM
All that I can say is WOW  :o  8)

I will have to go through that list a little later.

You will of course quickly notice my tendency towards recordings from the 40s to 60s ... when I started exploring classical, it was mostly via piano and violin players, buying boxes such as the Icons from (then) EMI by Heifetz, Rabin, Kreisler etc., also exploring the likes of Szigeti, Francescatti, Goldberg (didn't he record the Brahms, btw?) or Neveu, and later adding those prohibitively priced South Korean boxes by Martzy, Morini and de Vito, as well as the Ferras (didn't first want to get it, as I had his DG/Universal box already, which I still prefer as a whole - a favourite amongst my violinist boxes), the big sucker by Heifetz etc. The Brahms concerto quickly spoke to me, as did the Beethoven and Mendelssohn ones. Those are still among my favourite works. But no way I could tell you about the difference between all of these recordings - I did some shockingly efficient private library building in the past years, but these things need a lot of time to slowly drizzle in.

Alas I only heard the Brahms performed in concert once so far, by Frank Peter Zimmermann in the 2013/14 season at Tonhalle (Zinman conducting) and that was pretty marvelous, too!
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 20, 2016, 07:37:34 PM
Two modern, and rather different, recordings I recommend: Shaham/Abbado/Berlin and Repin/Chailly/Gewandhaus



The Shaham is fantastic. Very poetic in conception.

Another fave of mine: Morini/Rodzinsky.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aukhawk on November 21, 2016, 01:17:04 AM
I look no further than Oistrakh for the concerto "for violin against orchestra" - but maybe the rest of the world has moved on ...

Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: amw on November 21, 2016, 01:37:18 AM
Only one I need, at the moment, is Isabelle Faust w/ some fairly okayish hangers-on.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 09:35:45 AM
Yup, it's his own, adding to the considerable number of them (around 20 if memory serves)!

Thank you for the confirmation  ;)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 09:39:33 AM
You will of course quickly notice my tendency towards recordings from the 40s to 60s ... when I started exploring classical, it was mostly via piano and violin players, buying boxes such as the Icons from (then) EMI by Heifetz, Rabin, Kreisler etc., also exploring the likes of Szigeti, Francescatti, Goldberg (didn't he record the Brahms, btw?) or Neveu, and later adding those prohibitively priced South Korean boxes by Martzy, Morini and de Vito, as well as the Ferras (didn't first want to get it, as I had his DG/Universal box already, which I still prefer as a whole - a favourite amongst my violinist boxes), the big sucker by Heifetz etc. The Brahms concerto quickly spoke to me, as did the Beethoven and Mendelssohn ones. Those are still among my favourite works. But no way I could tell you about the difference between all of these recordings - I did some shockingly efficient private library building in the past years, but these things need a lot of time to slowly drizzle in.

Alas I only heard the Brahms performed in concert once so far, by Frank Peter Zimmermann in the 2013/14 season at Tonhalle (Zinman conducting) and that was pretty marvelous, too!

Thank you again for that. I am definitely beginning to envy your collection. I like to collect the older vinyl stuff too but I have a storage issue [which obviously comes with the territory]. I am sure that the sole performance you heard was indeed wonderful and you go one better than me as I have not heard it live yet  :'(
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 09:40:41 AM
The Shaham is fantastic. Very poetic in conception.

Another fave of mine: Morini/Rodzinsky.

Thank you for the endorsement, your description sounds very apt and interesting  :)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 09:42:21 AM
I look no further than Oistrakh for the concerto "for violin against orchestra" - but maybe the rest of the world has moved on ...



I have not certainly moved on here. As you can see I have listed four versions by Oistrakh above  8)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 09:42:59 AM
Only one I need, at the moment, is Isabelle Faust w/ some fairly okayish hangers-on.

Thank you for that.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: springrite on November 21, 2016, 10:03:51 AM
My favourite is one of those black sheep recordings, Kennedy/Tennstedt. It is slower, but to my ear more effective. I love it!
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: NikF on November 21, 2016, 10:05:23 AM
Another vote for the Oistrakh/Klemperer/Orchestre de la Radiodiffusion Francaise. Of the more recent recordings I've heard, the Jansen/Pappano/Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one I like.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 10:42:28 AM
My favourite is one of those black sheep recordings, Kennedy/Tennstedt. It is slower, but to my ear more effective. I love it!

Thank you for that bit of information regarding the Kennedy/Tennstedt version being slower. The ones that I prefer in my collection seem to be the faster versions when I think about it. This is somewhat surprising to me really since it is such a lyrical piece for large parts of the big first movement and also the slow movement, obviously.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 10:44:17 AM
Another vote for the Oistrakh/Klemperer/Orchestre de la Radiodiffusion Francaise. Of the more recent recordings I've heard, the Jansen/Pappano/Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one I like.

Cheers for that. Can you recall the speeds of the Jansen/Pappano version in comparison to the Oistrakh/Klemperer version?
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: North Star on November 21, 2016, 10:45:51 AM
Thank you for that bit of information regarding the Kennedy/Tennstedt version being slower. The ones that I prefer in my collection seem to be the faster versions when I think about it. This is somewhat surprising to me really since it is such a lyrical piece for large parts of the big first movement and also the slow movement, obviously.
You really need to hear the Shaham/Abbado. Heck, even Hurwitz gives it a 10/10. ;)
http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-8642/
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 21, 2016, 10:49:05 AM
My favourite is one of those black sheep recordings, Kennedy/Tennstedt. It is slower, but to my ear more effective. I love it!

Most interesting, old dear!
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: NikF on November 21, 2016, 10:50:51 AM
Cheers for that. Can you recall the speeds of the Jansen/Pappano version in comparison to the Oistrakh/Klemperer version?


You're welcome.


e:

Jansen
22:12
8:27
8:01


Oistrakh
22:35
9:50
8:27



Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Drasko on November 21, 2016, 11:52:37 AM
Brahms' Violin Concerto is hugely popular piece, pretty much every violinist recorded it at least once, there are many good recordings. I think I have maybe around dozen: Kreisler, Heifetz x2, Milstein, Ferras x2, Szigeti, Zehetmair, Kavakos and if pressed to chose I think I'd go with Mistein/Steinberg for elegance and effortlessness and with Ferras/Karajan for fine combination of poise and full blooded symphonic scope. I also like one I don't have: Krebbers/Mengelberg, live, fiery, great accompaniment. Well nigh impossible to find on CD though, thankfully there's youtube. I'd also love to hear earlier Szigeti, mine is rather late one with Ormandy. Is there a Gitlis recording?
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 12:11:55 PM
You really need to hear the Shaham/Abbado. Heck, even Hurwitz gives it a 10/10. ;)
http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-8642/

That is a hard sell  ;D
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 12:12:38 PM

You're welcome.


e:

Jansen
22:12
8:27
8:01


Oistrakh
22:35
9:50
8:27

Much obliged Sir  ;)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 12:16:07 PM
Brahms' Violin Concerto is hugely popular piece, pretty much every violinist recorded it at least once, there are many good recordings. I think I have maybe around dozen: Kreisler, Heifetz x2, Milstein, Ferras x2, Szigeti, Zehetmair, Kavakos and if pressed to chose I think I'd go with Mistein/Steinberg for elegance and effortlessness and with Ferras/Karajan for fine combination of poise and full blooded symphonic scope. I also like one I don't have: Krebbers/Mengelberg, live, fiery, great accompaniment. Well nigh impossible to find on CD though, thankfully there's youtube. I'd also love to hear earlier Szigeti, mine is rather late one with Ormandy. Is there a Gitlis recording?

Certainly the Krebbers/Haitink that I own is most enjoyable so I must give the Krebbers/Mengelberg version a listen on Youtube. Thank you for that.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: North Star on November 21, 2016, 12:17:25 PM
That is a hard sell  ;D
Oh, and Shaham's timings: 20:59, 8:34, and 7:31  8)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 21, 2016, 12:22:43 PM
Oh, and Shaham's timings: 20:59, 8:34, and 7:31  8)

Thank you for that. It is good to be able to see what is happening in relation to the timings on this one  ;)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on November 21, 2016, 10:44:59 PM
A couple of obscurities for you:

In the realm of Brahms' music for violin, for me, there is one name that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Gioconda de Vito.

The Italian government bought the Tuscan Stradivarius for her to play, and she performed for the Pope on more than one occasion. She recorded the sonatas (1 and 3) with Edwin Fischer (now available on a scandalously cheap boxed set--Edwin Fischer) and sonata 2 with Tito Aprea.

She recorded the concerto at least once for HMV with Rudolf Schwarz (Philharmonia Orch, I believe).

Her sound was incredibly beautiful and warm, and decidedly romantic, but not overbearingly so. Listen especially to the slow mvt of Sonata No. 1--the beauty of tone and the emotional crescendo built out of the most profound quiet and stillness has very few equals in the history or recorded music IMO (listen to Solomon's performance of Brahms sonata No. 3).

The Brahms double concerto she recorded with Amadeo Baldovino, and this record has been one of my holy grails for over two decades. Apparently it is not too ridiculously expensive from some Amazon Marketplace sellers.

If you want to collect her recordings, patience, deep pockets, and a good turntable are essential assets (But I might be able to send you FLACs--free, I'm not selling anything).

Another very beautiful and enchanting performance from about the same time period is that of Ossy Renardy with Charles Munch (Concertgebouw Orch). Renardy's performance is full of wit and humor, with one of the most laugh-out-loud cadenzas I have ever heard (I would like to know the composer-possibly Paganini?). Renardy's recording of the Franck sonata (with Eugene List) is the musical/audio equivalent of the world's greatest cognac. I was left speechless.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: king ubu on November 22, 2016, 12:19:44 AM
Yes on the double concerto with de Vito! And her chamber music with Fischer is priceless (but off-topic here, of course  ;))

@Drasko: as you mention many older violin players ... no love for the ladies? Neveu, Martzy etc.?
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: springrite on November 22, 2016, 04:28:53 AM
Timing on the Kennedy/Tennstedt:

1:   26'17"
2:   11'19"
3:    8'18"

This has to be the slowest version, especially the glazier first movement, by a substantial margin.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 22, 2016, 09:04:52 AM
A couple of obscurities for you:

In the realm of Brahms' music for violin, for me, there is one name that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Gioconda de Vito.

The Italian government bought the Tuscan Stradivarius for her to play, and she performed for the Pope on more than one occasion. She recorded the sonatas (1 and 3) with Edwin Fischer (now available on a scandalously cheap boxed set--Edwin Fischer) and sonata 2 with Tito Aprea.

She recorded the concerto at least once for HMV with Rudolf Schwarz (Philharmonia Orch, I believe).

Her sound was incredibly beautiful and warm, and decidedly romantic, but not overbearingly so. Listen especially to the slow mvt of Sonata No. 1--the beauty of tone and the emotional crescendo built out of the most profound quiet and stillness has very few equals in the history or recorded music IMO (listen to Solomon's performance of Brahms sonata No. 3).

The Brahms double concerto she recorded with Amadeo Baldovino, and this record has been one of my holy grails for over two decades. Apparently it is not too ridiculously expensive from some Amazon Marketplace sellers.

If you want to collect her recordings, patience, deep pockets, and a good turntable are essential assets (But I might be able to send you FLACs--free, I'm not selling anything).

Another very beautiful and enchanting performance from about the same time period is that of Ossy Renardy with Charles Munch (Concertgebouw Orch). Renardy's performance is full of wit and humor, with one of the most laugh-out-loud cadenzas I have ever heard (I would like to know the composer-possibly Paganini?). Renardy's recording of the Franck sonata (with Eugene List) is the musical/audio equivalent of the world's greatest cognac. I was left speechless.

Thank you for that. I love to hear of older recordings as well as modern ones. However, I must embarrass myself and say that I have not heard of either of your recommended performers [even if you refer to them as obscurities]  :-[
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 22, 2016, 09:08:08 AM
Timing on the Kennedy/Tennstedt:

1:   26'17"
2:   11'19"
3:    8'18"

This has to be the slowest version, especially the glazier first movement, by a substantial margin.

WOW, that first movement must crawl along :o
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: springrite on November 22, 2016, 09:15:28 AM
WOW, that first movement must crawl along :o

Yes it is very slow. But somehow they made it work perfectly. I was surprised that it did. Frankly I did not expect to like it since some of my other favourites are very brisk!
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Drasko on November 22, 2016, 09:16:53 AM
@Drasko: as you mention many older violin players ... no love for the ladies? Neveu, Martzy etc.?

Actually I have Morini/Rodzinski, forgot to list it, and I quite like it, but I have to be in the mood for it, if I'm not her tone can set my teeth on edge. De Vito I don't have but I have heard couple of them and she is almost tonal opposite of Morini, lovely dark viola like, easy on the ear, but she is consistently bit too leisurely for my taste. Martzy I don't know at all and Neveu I should probably get, I know many people who love her Brahms but the thing was I have had her equally lauded Sibelius for ages and it never really wowed me so I never proceeded in getting much further. Which of her Brahms concerto recordings is preferable?
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 22, 2016, 10:29:34 AM
Yes it is very slow. But somehow they made it work perfectly. I was surprised that it did. Frankly I did not expect to like it since some of my other favourites are very brisk!

I understand what you mean by having a preference for those versions that are on the brisk side. It is therefore interesting that they made the Kennedy/Tennstedt version work.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 22, 2016, 10:31:51 AM
Actually I have Morini/Rodzinski, forgot to list it, and I quite like it, but I have to be in the mood for it, if I'm not her tone can set my teeth on edge. De Vito I don't have but I have heard couple of them and she is almost tonal opposite of Morini, lovely dark viola like, easy on the ear, but she is consistently bit too leisurely for my taste. Martzy I don't know at all and Neveu I should probably get, I know many people who love her Brahms but the thing was I have had her equally lauded Sibelius for ages and it never really wowed me so I never proceeded in getting much further. Which of her Brahms concerto recordings is preferable?

Having looked up the Neveu recordings last night I was also going to ask which of her Brahms Violin Concerto performances is the recommended one.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: king ubu on November 22, 2016, 11:31:29 PM
I singled out the one with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt. It has a burning intensity that really speaks to me. You can check it out online:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FM2_krep7U

in case flash fails (as so often): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FM2_krep7U
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Orpheus on November 23, 2016, 03:31:34 AM
Did you listen to this recording? I find it fantastic indeed.

(https://dsd-files.s3.amazonaws.com/channelclassics/29410/29410/29410.jpg)

here the words of the pianist/arranger Dejan Lazic:

"I started working on this project in early 2003 and completed it in 2008. The violin was always a favourite love, and I continue to hold violinists in high esteem, realising just how wonderful their literature is. Thus far, I have been tremendously lucky to have had many an opportunity to perform with some wonderful colleagues. And it is with a degree of pride that I present – after Bach and Beethoven – the third “great B” in the present arrangement.

Subjectivity plays a role of course, and I have always found this particular concerto, along with Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto, to be amongst the best instrumental concertos ever written. Naturally, I felt the challenge to arrange the Brahms early on. I was intrigued by the idea of rendering it in an idiomatic version for piano and orchestra. The ultimate aim was clear: I wanted to perform it myself!

The desire to arrange a violin concerto as a piano concerto just because one envisages donning the garb of the soloist, is not a good enough motive to take on this challenge. But I also do not feel there is any other romantic violin concerto that would survive the transformation.
At a musicological level, the correspondence between Brahms and his dedicatee Joseph Joachim played a major role for me. After numerous changes, much good advice, and actual corrections by Joachim it remains quite clear that Brahms had always composed as a pianist (at the piano) and therefore felt this music as a pianist, if also as a symphonic composer (originally, Brahms wrote the Violin Concerto in four movements, which was typical for a symphony). It is quite obvious that the Violin Concerto had its roots in both friendship and practicality: his aim was to write a concerto for Joachim, from which we can infer the term concerto took on a greater significance than the violin itself. But we are skating on thin ice here, what I mean to say is that it is quite justified to speculate about what would have happened if Joachim had been a cellist or a clarinettist, or even… a pianist!"
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Drasko on November 23, 2016, 07:22:13 AM
I singled out the one with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt. It has a burning intensity that really speaks to me.

Thanks, ordered!

Here's pertinent thread from the old forum, the first few posts are worth reading (it gets derailed later):

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,12357.0.html

Does anyone knows what's happening these days with Harry Collier? He was very knowledgeable of all things violin.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Ghost Sonata on November 23, 2016, 07:41:57 AM
RE: Neveu, can thoroughly recommend the Dutton transfer of the orig. EMI recording with Dobrowen. 

   You can listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0duhxWX0-As
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 23, 2016, 08:59:54 AM
I singled out the one with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt. It has a burning intensity that really speaks to me. You can check it out online:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FM2_krep7U

in case flash fails (as so often): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FM2_krep7U

Flash did fail but the link was good. I will get to that at a later stage. Thank you for posting it  :)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 23, 2016, 09:02:31 AM
Thanks, ordered!

Here's pertinent thread from the old forum, the first few posts are worth reading (it gets derailed later):

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,12357.0.html

Does anyone knows what's happening these days with Harry Collier? He was very knowledgeable of all things violin.

Good to have that linked here  ;)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 23, 2016, 09:03:48 AM
RE: Neveu, can thoroughly recommend the Dutton transfer of the orig. EMI recording with Dobrowen. 

   You can listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0duhxWX0-As

Thank you for posting that one. I will give  it a listen at a later stage also  :)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on November 23, 2016, 11:56:35 PM
I also like the Heifetz recording with Koussevitsky (ca 1940s)--very leisurely tempo, kind of somber and introspective, actually--well juxtaposed with Heifetz's very thoughtful and not overly virtuosic playing. Along with the Bruch cto (Sargent), the Brahms double cto (Feuermann, Ormandy) it is one of my favorite Heifetz concerto recordings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW7TJSYpBI8
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 24, 2016, 09:15:48 AM
I also like the Heifetz recording with Koussevitsky (ca 1940s)--very leisurely tempo, kind of somber and introspective, actually--well juxtaposed with Heifetz's very thoughtful and not overly virtuosic playing. Along with the Bruch cto (Sargent), the Brahms double cto (Feuermann, Ormandy) it is one of my favorite Heifetz concerto recordings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW7TJSYpBI8

Thank you for that, especially the video link which I will watch later.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Parsifal on November 24, 2016, 09:43:27 AM
Thanks, ordered!

Here's pertinent thread from the old forum, the first few posts are worth reading (it gets derailed later):

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,12357.0.html

Does anyone knows what's happening these days with Harry Collier? He was very knowledgeable of all things violin.

Wow, no idea the old forum was still online. Is there a link to it somewhere on this site? I can't find it.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Drasko on November 24, 2016, 11:45:32 AM
Wow, no idea the old forum was still online. Is there a link to it somewhere on this site? I can't find it.

There is a thread in GMG News section of the forum and the link is in the opening post.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10856.0.html

Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Heck148 on November 24, 2016, 01:04:42 PM
Heifetz/Reiner is my favorite -

also enjoy Szeryng/Monteux/LSO
and Szeryng/Dorati/LSO
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: aligreto on November 25, 2016, 06:31:27 AM
Heifetz/Reiner is my favorite -

also enjoy Szeryng/Monteux/LSO
and Szeryng/Dorati/LSO

All good choices. Personally I prefer the Szeryng/Monteux over the Szeryng/Dorati  :)
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Heck148 on November 25, 2016, 11:09:57 AM
All good choices. Personally I prefer the Szeryng/Monteux over the Szeryng/Dorati  :)

same here...but I like Heifetz/Reiner the best.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Scion7 on August 11, 2020, 11:00:57 AM
" ... I also like the Heifetz recording with Koussevitsky (ca 1940s) ... "  -- it's a very fine performance, but, it's a mono recording of low fidelity - the NAXOS transfer did what it could do with the material, but Brahms is lost in the noise and sonic restrictions.  I can't take it for long.  His 1955 with Reiner on Living Stereo is a disaster IMO.  The fluidity - or sinewy technique - had stiffened up somewhat, and that cadenza ...... ugh.  Some critics have suggested a conflict of aims between soloist and conductor here - maybe it was subconscious - what we need is a time machine to bring 20's-something Heifetz into a 21st century recording studio with one of the great-era symphony orchestras and a conductor of outstanding empathy with Brahms ....
. . . .
. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .  and use tasers upon their earlobes until we get the perfect performance/excellent fidelity!!!

you! - oboist! - do I have to use this on you AGAIN?!?!?!    :P  >:D
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Handelian on November 05, 2020, 04:15:45 AM
Very important not to take Brahms too slowly else it seems like stodge. Recordings I have:



Jascha Heifetz, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, 1939 (cadenza: Auer, arr. Heifetz)

Jascha Heifetz, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, 1955

Isaac Stern, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, 1959

David Oistrakh, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Otto Klemperer, 1960

All give pretty good accounts.
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Scion7 on November 05, 2020, 04:34:08 AM
the Zuckerman and Pearlman accounts are quite well done
Title: Re: Brahms Violin Concerto
Post by: Jo498 on November 05, 2020, 04:35:01 AM
It's been a while that I listened to it but I found the Hefeitz/Koussevitzky in the Naxos transfer very listenable, as far as I recall it above average for a 1939 orchestral recording.
A rather lean and flowing modern recording is Zehetmair/Dohnanyi.