Lovely Tone, Effective Advocacy
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In Yuri Bashmet's hands, the viola does not emerge as the Cinderella of string instruments. Just listen to the plaintive message he makes of the double stops in Bruch's lovely Romance, and you'll see what I mean. The Bruch, in fact, needs special advocacy. Coming late in Bruch's career (1911), the Romance and Concerto make no advances whatever on the composer's justly famous Violin Concerto No. 1 and Scottish Fantasy, both having been written decades before. That renders the two later pieces no less lovely--and Bruch always seems to be able to come up with lovely melodies--but there is a certain melancholy about them that perhaps reflects Bruch's bitterness as having been tagged as a one-masterpiece (Concerto No. 1) wonder. Bashmet catches that strain of world weariness and turns it to sweet advantage, making of these works small elegiac gems, with the help of violinist Victor Tretiakov in the concerto."Kol nidrei" is one of Bruch's greatest hits, but the transcription of this cello work up into the viola's range brightens the work and makes of it a less brooding, more singing creation, for me at lest. And Bashmet sings it very well.As for the Walton, this is a piece I'm fond of, and I haven't heard a more compelling version than Bashmet's. The London Symphony accompany well under the capable direction of both conductors, and the sound enegeering is fine. Recommended."
Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 11/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To understand the beauty of a violin you must first embrace the sadness of a tear, the beauty of a pretty woman, love, anger, jealousy, sorrow, joy, pain and all the other emotions that go with being a human being, falling in love, and being at one with your emotions. Surely Mr Bruch was in tune with his emotions writing his great works.Violinist Victor Tretiakov and violist Yuri Bashmet play Bruch's double concerto, a lesser known composition full of profound beauty. What's not to love on here?Most people know Bruch from his first violin concerto. When I say his music is romantic I am not only referring to the time the composition was made but also to just the concept of romance it self. The double concerto is the main reason I bought this CD. From what I found out looking for different recordings of this work, it was originally written for clairnet and viola (probably why most violinists don't play it) but here a violin is playing the clairnet part. The music is full of emotion and romance, listening to this recording will sweep you away with a beauty that you will find to be soothing and romantic to any set of ears.If you love Bruch's first violin concerto do not hesitate to buy this CD! I also give my highest recommendation to the Bruch Violin Concerto No 3.The viola pieces are equally warm and lyrical. While Bashmet is no Primrose, but he plays with great color and beauty. Primrose played with a lean and articulate sound while Bashmet plays with a more lush and romantic sound so I guess it depends on what style you like. It is common to criticise a performer because of excess vibrato or for getting overly emotional with the music and that is why I prefer the recording of Mr. Primrose. I am not totally clear how accurate the interpretations are here but to hear the Bruch double with violin and viola makes this a necessary CD to any music lover's collection. I will say it again: If you love Bruch's first violin concerto do not hesitate to buy this CD!"