Tchaikovsky/Brahms

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky/Brahms
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Violin Concerto in D; Hungarian Dance No. 1; Hungarian Dance No. 2; Hungarian Dance No. 4; Hungarian Dance No. 7 (arr. Joachim)
PERFORMER: Sarah Chang (violin), Jonathan Feldman (piano)LSO/Colin Davis
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 7 54753 2 DDD
This recording is truly breathtaking. Sarah Chang was only 11 years old when it was made and not yet even playing a full-sized instrument. And yet her understanding of the work is that of a consummate artist. Her technique is immaculate, her sound full and rounded, her phrasing always musical, and her pacing perfect. The concerto, rejected by its dedicatee as ‘unviolinistic’, and reviled by its first critics, is now one of the most popular in the repertoire, and a particular favourite for young performers. It offers a wide range of expression, no more touchingly so than in the central Canzonetta, which Tchaikovsky is said to have written

Advertisement

in a single day. This movement seems, in its tender melancholy, to belong to the world of the young

Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, a score which Tchaikovsky had only recently completed. Chang, even at so young

an age, captures this mood with touching gravity. But

the playfulness of a child comes spilling out in the final movement, as she effortlessly tosses off double-stopping and rapid runs. Colin Davis masterfully underpins the performance, allowing maximum freedom without

ever curbing or cramping. The London Symphony

Orchestra sparkles, contributing some particularly

Advertisement

fine woodwind playing. This disc is a must.