Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Klaus Tennstedt, London Philharmonic Orchestra|
Brahms: Violin Concerto
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KENNEDY MAKES GOOD HIS PROMISE... AND THEN SOME!
Melvyn M. Sobel | Freeport (Long Island), New York | 11/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Kennedy's Brahms via a PBS video a few years ago and was literally shorn emotionally asunder.
The sheer beauty of his performance eclipsed my sense of space and time; I was aesthetically "displaced." I felt as if I had entered the soul of Brahms--- in a heartbeat--- and dwelt there until concerto's end. I could hardly recover; I needed to obtain the CD as soon as possible. It's a remarkable thing to be so profoundly transformed.
In life we all share such defining moments. For those of us who love music with a passion, such moments, rare as they are, come unheralded most of the time. Unexpected. As humans, to be able to be moved by music, performance or performer is a truly wondrous experience. Ephemeral as these experiences are we try to capture, or regain, the moment. A century filled with its various methods of recording sound attests to our human need to recapture, re-experience.
Treasures like Kennedy's performance of the Brahms' Violin Concerto are the rarest, most elemental, configurations of the human condition; they remind us who we are, where we've come from, what we love. Treasures like this, which are perfect unions of composer, composition and artists, compel us, move us to new planes and urge us to realize that perhaps the "magic" of music, especially in a performance such as this, is the distillation of a thousand random acts.
[Running time: 45:55]"
Not the greatest but my favorite
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 03/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This has retained its place as my favorite version of Brahms' masterpiece for one critical reason: it is the slowest traversal of the titanic opening Allegro non troppo you can find, making the architecture of this concerto more apparent than in any other recording. I differ with other critics here who call Kennedy's music-making sentimental or lacking in taste. I find great beauty and sweep in his playing and in the way he is supported by the late Klaus Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic. There is little about this recording that can make it the greatest version -- especially with the Oistrakh, Vengerov and Heifitz versions still around and sounding great -- but this is a very worthy competitor in the Brahms Violin Concerto stakes. It was recorded in 1991 during a time when hype over then Nigel Kennedy -- who later became Kennedy and now is back as Nigel -- seemed larger than his music and artistry. Many critics reacted to the hype, his haircut and video demeanor to criticize his work here and elsewhere. That was unfair, of course, and not a realistic representation of his artistry. The main shortcoming on this CD is the lack of accompanying music and only about 45 minutes of playing time. Any way you cut it that's short shrift for a full price CD. To accommodate that, I burned a home CD containing this and a version of the Schumann Violin Concerto, making my own more substantial CD. Still that shortcoming does not diminish the beauty and artistry Kennedy, Tennstedt and LPO have achieved in one of the most deliberately paced recordings of this music in history. For me, that lengthens the experience, making it better, more beautiful and more fulfilling."
The wild boy proves his talent
Larry VanDeSande | 10/31/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Can't say I could ever get too excited by the Nigel-Kennedy-as-Jim-Morrison-of Classics schtick. The bad hair and the wizard wildness of the Four Seasons all smelled too much of a marketing plan. So how then do you explain this? For me the Brahms is the mightiest of the great violin concertos. I have had the privilege to hear it played by some of the greats and I have several versions on disc. I rarely listen to them, though. This - for me - is the one. By some miracle of grace, Kennedy is on perfect form for this recording, disciplined enough to sustain the music's compelling structure, but wild enough to give this the real romantic passion that lies at its heart. There are more scholarly versions, perhaps more technically beautiful, but none that I have heard more sexy and heartbreaking than the Kennedy & Klaus show. A credit to them all. A great loss that Kennedy shows little interest in maturing his talent in the classics-as-we-know-them, but perhaps after this piece of magnificence he can be excused for wondering what to do for an encore."