Dvorak, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

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COMPOSERS: Dvorak,Sibelius,Tchaikovsky
WORKS: Violin Concerto
PERFORMER: Itzhak Perlman (violin); Boston SO/Erich Leinsdorf
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 63591 2 ADD Reissue (1966, 1967)
Although they may not be the most impressive gems in Itzhak Perlman’s recorded legacy, these performances do glitter brightly. Recorded in his early twenties, Perlman offers precipitate renditions that infuse the music with fresh and sometimes magical vivacity. The Tchaikovsky creates a particularly dashing effect. While the Sibelius Concerto too receives streamlined, virtuosic treatment, in it Perlman hints at the sovereign ease and relaxation that have since become his trademarks. Reactions to these recordings will probably hinge on the clear, focused conducting of Erich Leinsdorf, which permits considerable urgency but also restricts spaciousness and atmosphere (sometimes a plus in Tchaikovsky but a liability in Sibelius). For more searing performances in the same vein, the historic Heifetz recordings remain models, but if ‘merely’ bracing accounts will do – even the Dvorák Romance burns with insistent eloquence – prospective buyers need look no further. David Breckbill