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Unknown but unbelievable
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an unexpected joy it was to discover this relatively unknown violin concerto. As a concert pianist I purchased this disc in order to hear Argerich's approach to the piano concerto (one of my favorites). It was the violin concerto, however, which has struck me to the heart. What an unbelievably beautiful work. The entire developoment section of the opening movement must be amongst the most wonderfully crafted music ever penned - achingly tender and quietly impassioned. The Langsam movement is also a profoundly beautiful utterance. Throughout Kremer's playing is insightful and captures the essence of the work. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe are a wonderful group and this CD provides some of the most beautiful orchestral sonorities I have encountered on recordings thus far. I LOVE this CD."
An excellent coupling of an old warhorse and a little-known
David Arenson | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I always enjoy Nikolaus Harnoncourt's take on things. By going back to the original scores and following the dictates of the composer, he sometimes ignores performance tradition but captures nuances and intentions that have been lost. Such is the case here, especially with the violin concerto, where he and Gidon Kremer take the third movement at a slow pace -- a stately polonaise -- as the composer intended. (The accompanying booklet spells out Schumann's views quite clearly.) Not everyone likes this approach, but I do: the result is an elegant, moving and even playful work. For those who have not heard the concerto, the first movement epecially is a gem, one of those why-I-like-Schumann revelations brimming with musical ideas in the composer's unique personal style. The violin concerto has been unfairly maligned over time by those who say Schumann's powers were diminishing when he wrote it. If these are the ravings of a soon-to-be-madman, they are still better than most of the music written in his era!
The piano concerto, an old warhorse which has threatened to sink under its own overperformed weight, is played with verve and panache by Martha Argerich, a performance almost universally proclaimed as one of the best on disc. If you think you've heard the piano concerto a few times too many, Argerich and Harnoncourt put some of the magic back in the piece."
Somewhat resolved but powerful
David Arenson | 03/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the reason why I bought this disc is listenig to famous piano concerto. but when I first listend to this,I am immidiately trapped to violin concerto.until now I can hardly find the reason why this great piece isn't that famous. kremer's vilolin, as usual,powerful, but there is something different . it's a little resolved and more emotional. I think, schmann had a very great talent to catch and express personal feeling. its melancholy atmosphere appealed me than any other music"