Brahms/Strauss: Violin Concertos

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COMPOSERS: Brahms/Strauss
LABELS: Decca Eclipse
WORKS: Violin Concertos
PERFORMER: Boris Belkin (violin); LSO/Iván Fischer, Berlin RSO/Vladimir Ashkenazy
CATALOGUE NO: 448 988-2 (1985/93)
Belkin sounds intimidated by the technical difficulties of the Brahms, and his lack of warmth and uneven vibrato poorly match the Romantic sweep of the music, while Iván Fischer’s conducting shows little feeling for the music’s structure or inner rhythm. Things improve interpretatively with the early Strauss concerto, though it’s not a top-notch piece. But Belkin gives a better account of himself, and both Ashkenazy and the Berlin orchestra make a favourable impression. George Hall