Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 04/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am sure that most people have ever even heard the Kabalevsky concerto unless you happen to study the violin. Of all great Russian violin concertos, there are 5 that really stand out from the rest: Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Prokofiev 2, Miakovasky and Kabalevsky. The focus of this review is regarding Shaham's recording of the Kabalevsky concerto, a concerto that should be more known to the masses.Every one of those five concertos has a unique sound, the Tchaikovsky was the first written of them and was influenced by Lalo's great Symphonie Espagnole. The Lalo is a work with intricate polyrythms and it takes an advanced artist to play the temops correctly in synchronicity with the orchestra. It also takes a disciplined orchestra and skilled and sensitive conductor to allow for coordination between the soloist and the orchestra. The same could be said of the Tchaikovsky, requiring an advanced artist and conductor to play those intricate rythms togather and make it sound convincing. Well it is Tchaikovsky who influenced Glazunov, Prokofiev, Miakovasky and Kabalevsky, each wrote concertos with their own style and all seemed to contain that sence of intricate polyrythms that require a great degree of skill to pull off, it takes an artist with alot of bow control to make it really sound good. The Kabalevsky concerto is more brief than the forgotten Miakovsky making it a highly listenable work. It is so refreshing to hear the Kabalevsky with a a golden singing tone. I love the Oistrakh recording but the sound quality is so poor and dated so I listen to this recording more. Glazunov actually wrote my favorite russian violin concerto, the brooding melody is so hauntinly beautiful and contains a melody so pure it is simply impossible not to fall in love with. The cadenza is so outrageous you will shake your head in disbelief it is so brilliant. The Tchaikovsky is much more popular but I seem to prefer the Glazunov for some reason, maybe because it it's more smooth and less choppy like in the third movement of the Tchaikovsky. This is not my favorite recording of the Glazunov as I perfer the Perlman recording. Actually Michael Rabin recorded my favorite Glazunov but that is very difficult to find. The CD also includes incredibly melodic works by Tchaikovsky that will completely make you melt. This is appropriate because of Tchaikovsky's influence on Glazunov and Kabalevsky.I play this CD when I want to hear the Kabalevsky, a lesser known concerto I am very fond of and you should be too.5 stars for the Kabalevsky, 4 Stars for the Glazunov"
Rosomax | Boulder, CO United States | 01/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In our era of big egos, it's refreshing to see two artists of great stature come together to celebrate the magic of Russian music. Having been fortunate enough to see both Shaham and Pletnev live in recitals, I was delighted the moment Glazunov's moderato started playing. Pletnev brings his trademark energetic elegance and Shaham virtuosity (so perfectly demonstrated in recent "Devil's Dance" CD) accommodates with ease and finesse.
In Russia, Kabalevsky is most often thought of as a Bolshevik composer. While it's partly true, he also wrote some of the most exquisite violin music since - well - Glazunov, and it is actually a quite natural coupling of two great concertos.
To make this disc even better, the artists included some of Tchaikovsky's morsels. The intent, probably, was to show a connection in Russian music school even as it changed though the decades. It worked well (you can clearly hear Tchaikovsky's lyricism in Kabalevsky's 1948 concerto), but it also provided for some pure joy moments, such as Meditation (track 7).
DG, as usual these days, provided perfect sound quality. The only thing I would add, though, is the piece that "started it all," i.e. the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, but since Gil Shaham has already recorded it just a little while back with Giuseppe Sinopoli (coupled with Sibelius concerto) we could easily fill this "gap" by getting both discs."
A beautiful recording of spectactular music
givenchy9 | 06/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am amazed at the outstanding quality of this CD. It is truely beautiful, and the two Tchaikovsky works that are very rare are surpisingly beautiful. This has a fine balance of Russian music. The Glazunov is naturally a beautiful concerto that has ben played extremly well.The Kabalevsky was shockingly good, and an exellent balance of modern and romantic music."
Russian Gems Shine in Shaham's Skillful Hands...
givenchy9 | Atlanta, GA United States | 10/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Among the violinists of his generation, Shaham is undoubtedly one of the most versatile and charismatic. His enthusiasm for the violin is evident in all his recordings. Indeed, a genuine zeal and passion for music, in general, appears to be an integral part of his engaging personality. I can attest for this, having personally heard Shaham's mesmerizing peformance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons last season with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As for this particular recording, I was especially impressed by the Glazunov Concerto. In my opinion, Shaham's interpretation of this glorious work is on a par with Heifetz's majestic recording with Walter Hendl. The piece is truly a perfect vehicle for Shaham, whose lush, melodious tone is an ideal match for the Tchaikovsky-esque lyricism of Glazunov's composing. Although I'm less familiar with the Kabalevsky concerto, Shaham's exquisite rendering of it leaves me eager to collect other recordings of it such as David Oistrakh's archive performance from the 1940s. The Tchaikovsky Souvenir and Valse-Scherzo are impressive as well, but the two concerti are where Shaham's virtuousic talents are showcased most brilliantly. As a former violinist, I feel I must state that this recording should be a part of any violinist's CD collection. And even for those who are merely classical music buffs, this recording is a must-own! As I'm an enormous admirer of both Shaham and Pletnev, I can only hope the pair will collaborate on many future recordings."
Mo from Cairo, Egypt
givenchy9 | 01/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am in the process of studying one of the pieces from this cd (Kabalevsky), and out of all of the recordings of the kabaevsky that I have heard, this is the one that has been the most helpful to me! Gil Shaham knows how to show how it is REALLY played! The Glazanouve and the Tchaikowsky are also really beautifully played. If you like a fine balance of Russian music, BUY THIS CD!!!!"