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Brahms, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos in D
Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Anatole Fistoulari
Brahms, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos in D
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1


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At This Price, You Can't Afford NOT to Buy This CD
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 08/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"These performances by Nathan Milstein of two of the violin concerto masterpieces have long been treasured by music lovers. The Tchaikovsky was recorded in 1959, the Brahms in 1961, and were issued separatedly previously. Both are in resplendently modernized sound. Now, EMI's Seraphim label puts them together and Amazon sells them for {an} unbelievable price ... How could you go wrong?In fact, this is my favorite recording of the Brahms, largely because of Milstein's combination of knowing musicianship coupled with his HUGE tone; Fistoulari and the Philharmonia give him a magnificent accompaniment. Strangely, although he recorded it also with Vienna Philharmonic under Eugen Jochum, the warmth of tone on this recording puts it ahead of what might have been expected to be a superior recording. Also, he recorded it with William Steinberg and the Pittsburgh (and oddly, they accompany him in the Tchaikovsky on this disc--I wonder why EMI/Seraphim didn't combine the two Pittsburgh performances on this disc?) but, again, the Fistoulari/Philharmonia sound outscores the Steinberg/Fistoulari; also, Steinberg seems somewhat self-effacing in his Brahms accompaniment. In this recording Milstein's playing is more intense in the outer movements, more lyrical in the Adagio. No question in my mind, this is the Brahms/Milstein to get if you're going to have just one.The Tchaikovsky is marginally less outstanding, although it is quite good. There are many other equally marvelous Tchaik concerto recordings, e.g. Heifetz/Reiner/Chicago SO, Oistrakh/Ormandy/Philadelphia. Still, Milstein's luscious Canzonetta is one of the very best. In the final movement his crisp articulation is a plus, but there is perhaps not as much fire as one would wish for. I would think this would be a perfect buy for someone who has NO recordings of these towering masterpieces. And at this price it certainly can be recommended to anyone who wants additional performances of them. Recommended.Scott Morrison"
Exceptional Value, Marvelous Music!
P. Kingsriter | Lakeville, MN United States | 02/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Soloist Nathan Milstein has a new fan! His technical mastery and emotional expressiveness when performing both Tchaikovsky and Brahms is stunning. The composers respective musical opposites, but Milstein captures the spirit of each piece with great vigor. The pieces themselves are thoroughly enjoyable as well. They seem hand-picked to showcase the abilities of the soloist but are easy on the ears. Tchaikovsky's Allegro Moderato (track 1) in particular, is a triumphant and passionate piece that celebrates the width and breadth of orchestral music. Brahms' creations are equally emotive, but in more subtle ways.The quality of the recordings is excellent - far better than I was expecting for the price. One can make out the different intonations of Milstein's strings as he gracefully attacks each note - a quality that many more expensive discs cannot claim. The orchestra backing up Milstein is well conducted and perfectly mixed, providing a grand balance for Milstein's solos.If you're a fan of great violin pieces, this album is a *must buy*. If you're a fan of classical music in general, this disc comes highly recommended."
Possibly the biggest steal in all of recorded music !
Hannibal | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As one who grew up adoring the Jascha Heifetz/Fritz Reiner recordings of these two great concerti, and certain they had set a standard of musical excellence impossible of being equalled, much less bettered, imagine my surprise upon hearing this fabulous disc.


Having beaten back great artists in recent years such as Vengerov and Shaham, it hardly seemed possible that there were two old recordings by Nathan Milstein (which must have skipped my notice) which had long ago taken the prize....

...Music lovers, forget the Rosette and attendant babble given by the Penguin Guide to the Milstein Brahms Concerto (with Steinberg conducting, in mono). That publication after dismissively mentioning the Jochum conducted performance of the 1980s adds insult to injury by ignoring completely this Fistoulari conducted version! (Even if it is currently unavailable in the UK, surely it should be remembered - it was even recorded there!)

Of course any performance by a genius such as Milstein will have wonderful moments now and then, but this recording, with Fistoulari conducting, in stereo, is the best of them all - it has real magic and passion, and is the performance to get.

The Tchaikovsky with Steinberg is probably more of a draw, but the "Finale" is as good as it gets, and the rest is merely magnificent. What a fiddler!

Finally, that this disc is being sold to the public at a price this low should make all music lovers weep in gratitude, certain that "Yes, Virginia - there is a Santa Claus....""