Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Niccolo Paganini, Heribert Esser, Vienna Symphony Orchestra|
Paganini: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 "La campanella"
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The best of the best !!!
Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 09/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually had this record when I was 16. I mean I had the vynil LP and twenty years later I am so thankful this recording is still available, of course I bought the CD and still listen in awe after all this time.Ashkenasi plays with incredible tone, beauty, and indeed effortless technique. I would like to point out is that Mr. Ashkenasi plays his own cadenzas in both concertos which makes this CD worthwhile, for that reason combined with a low price should make this CD irresistible.In the book in his book "Great Masters of the Violin" written by Boris Schwartz, (a great russian violinist) Mr Ashkenasi is decribed as having "...lovely tone and perfect intonation." His training included the great Zimbalist, no wonder his technique is so convincing here.I own many copies of these recordings and perhaps the only way I can explain why I like this recording so much is to compare it to all the others I have heard. I own the recordings of Perlman, Shaham, Markov, Gitlis, Accardo, Rabin, Kogan, Kaler, Menuhin, and Grumiaux. Only Grumiaux made a recording of equal value in my opinion. "La Campanella" from the second violin concerto is my favorite melody ever written. For the second concerto I own recordings by Markov, Gitlis, Accardo, and Kaler. To me, Ashkenasi has no peers for this concerto but Markov came close.I own all these recordings but when I want to listen to these masterpieces, I reach for Ashkenasi."
A veteran player of Paganini
Jaron Stallard | Wellington, New Zealand | 02/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so lucky that i could hear this great Paganini performance when i was 17 - from concert FM on the radio. I was sort of young but still i couldn't just simply forgot about it. (now i am 28 in fact, and wanted to purchase this cd but had some trouble to get it, because it wasn't on the cd catalogue book, unfortunately.)
I have to say this Paganini concertos are simply the best performance of all. i hope this legendry recording does last forever and DG doesn't delet this great performance. Shmuel Ashkenasi is a truly greatest violinist ever. Incidenatlly I've been to Hilary Hahn's concert in 2004 - Wellington, New Zealand. and luckly i got to talk to her at the end. She played Paganini N0 1 in D. BUt ..it was nothing speical. Overall, i do not expect anybody else can play Paganini Cocertos like Ashkenasi's Super Virtuosi: with full of energy. Othewise you will be disappointed. It's hard to find a decent good performance of Paganini Cocnertos. i stronly recommend this cd. also Shlomo Mintz's 24 Caprices.
Beautiful but characterless
G.D. | Norway | 04/01/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I admit that these recordings have received some very good reviews, so my opinion should perhaps not be anyone's exclusive source of input. Partially, my somewhat dismissive attitude might be due to my view of the music itself as vehicles for virtuosic display with little or no intrinsic musical value (La Campanella is admittedly great fun).
Ashkenasi's approach is as far from white-hot intensity as it is possible to come. He produces a lovely tone, however, and the playing sounds light and graceful, but that is not quite enough to bring these works to life - it all ends up sounding a little bland. Now, to Ashkenasi's credit he does bring some humor to these scores as well - more so than most interpreters - and that fact might, I guess, appeal to some listeners, but personally I think that the lack of urgency and tension makes the music simply end up sounding insipid and characterless.
The playing of the Wiener Symphoniker is of course good, but under Esser's direction the orchestral parts become shapeless and uninteresting as well. All in all, this is a rather dull recording, despite some beautiful playing. The sound quality is rather grey and boxy as well, not up to the standards even of the time (the recording dates from 1969)."