Elgar/Chausson: Violin Concerto in B minor; Poème

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COMPOSERS: Elgar/Chausson
LABELS: DG Masters
WORKS: Violin Concerto in B minor; Poème
PERFORMER: Itzhak Perlman (violin); Chicago SO/Daniel BarenboimNew York Philharmonic/Zubin Mehta
CATALOGUE NO: 445 564-2 DDD (1982/87)
Itzhak Perlman’s early Eighties Chicago recording of the Elgar Violin Concerto was an illustrious, bold and magnificently conceived interpretation of this great and still underrepresented masterwork. Perlman discerned its lofty aspiration and mingled, deeply affecting introspection keenly; moreover, such fabled virtuosity brought to bear upon this score was bound to be devastating in its impact – there is simply no finer account of this work available. One need only hear the massed Chicago violins at the start to gauge the resolve and authority of Barenboim’s contribution here, and Perlman is, as always, in a league apart. A searching, and heroically committed realisation of this enigmatic masterpiece. Excellent recorded sound, and an apposite filler in the form of Chausson’s Poème make this an essential reissue. Michael Jameson