Brahms: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto

COMPOSERS: Brahms
LABELS: PentaTone PTC
ALBUM TITLE: Brahms- Violin Concerto; Double Concerto
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto
PERFORMER: Julia Fischer (violin), Daniel Müller-Schott (cello); Netherlands PO/Yakov Kreizberg
CATALOGUE NO: PTC 5186 066
The partnership of Julia Fischer and Yakov Kreizberg, already much acclaimed for recordings of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, really comes into its own in the symphonic proportions of Brahms’s Violin Concerto. From Fischer’s opening imposing entry, it’s clear that Kreizberg and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra are at one with her every nuance and tempo fluctuation – dramatic, fiery and impetuous at first but then beautifully lyrical and introverted in the second idea. Fischer and Kreizberg’s approach to the first movement is far more leisurely than Thomas Zehetmair in his recent

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and highly illuminating recording on Avie (reviewed last issue) or

Gil Shaham with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic on DG. Yet they somehow manage to maintain sufficient ebb and flow in the musical argument to avoid the obvious trap of losing momentum in the more reflective sections. For a greater level of dramatic tension both Zehetmair and Shaham may be marginally preferable, the latter particularly so in an unusually exuberant account of the Finale. But Fischer and Kreizberg, benefiting from a suitably opulent recorded sound, are certainly persuasive.

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As with Shaham’s disc, the present release offers the Double Concerto as a very generous coupling. But whereas Shaham and cellist Jian Wang seem ill at ease, with rather divergent conceptions of their solo parts, and surprisingly stodgy orchestral playing, Fischer and her partner Daniel Müller-Schott are absolutely on the same musical wavelength delivering a blisteringly intense performance supported by outstandingly responsive playing from the Netherlands Philharmonic. Erik Levi