Here's a shock -- one of the most satisfying Brahms concerto
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 04/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never pass up the chance to hear a new Brahms violin concerto CD and have been impressed by recent ones from Hilary Hahn, Christian Tetzlaff, and Julia Fischer. Somehow I overlooked this 2005 recording from young Julian Rachlin, who in general has flown under my radar. What a shock and delight, then, to find that this is one of the most refined and musically satisfying Brahms concertos I've heard in years.
Rachlin, now 33, was born in Lithuania but raised in Vienna from early childhood. He isn't, therefore, a Russian-style violinist but most definitely a European one, not at all given to dark tone, heavily romantic phrasing, or virtuosic flash. What he has going for him is that he seems to be a musician to his fingertips. My ear was immediately captivated by his phrasing, whose elegance and nuance might be compared to Milstein's or even Szigeti's. Perhaps I'm infatuated on first acquaintance, but everything sounds right to me, including the recorded sound and the excellent, alert accompaniment by Mariss Jansons and his Bavarian Radio orchestra. I would wish for more Hungarian fire in the finale, where Rachlin is too careful not to mar his beautiful tone, but that's not a major flaw.
The Mozart Cto #3 is done in quasi-period style, without vibrato in the orchestral strings and a relatively fast pace. Rachlin is just as delightful here. In all, this CD came out of left field, bringing unexpected enjoyment. I won't miss looking out for Rachlin in the future."