WORKS: Violin Concerto; Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor
PERFORMER: Itzhak Perlman (violin)Chicago SO/Daniel Barenboim
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-98255-2
Naxos’s choice of violinist for two of the greatest 20th-century concertos is new to me: Tedi Papavrami was born in 1971 in Albania, and is now based in France. His Prokofiev is confident and stylish without being at all charismatic or memorable. He is well supported by Antoni Wit’s orchestra, though one might question the over-deliberate tempo for the finale of the First Concerto. The perky solo Sonata makes a highly appropriate filler, and might usefully have been added to the short measure of the Teldec disc with Perlman.
This live Chicago account of the Prokofiev has already been issued (by Erato), so the performance of this and the Stravinsky would need to be exceptional to justify its full price. Perlman’s playing is a good deal more interesting than Papavrami’s; it’s also more forceful, and at times – especially in the Stravinsky – I found it almost too incisive and spiky. The Prokofiev is very musical, as one would expect; yet the execution throughout is not as immaculate as one might expect, even for a live recording. Stephen Maddock