Bettie D. Linthicum | Lakewood, Washington United States | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having heard both concertos and the Chopin, I can't for the life of me figure how anyone could give this less than 5 stars. The Karlowicz Concerto is one of the most beautiful and wondrously played violin concertos I've ever heard. And I've pretty much heard them all. This must be the Rach 3 of violin concertos, the difficulty staggering, and he does it marvelously. I liked the Mieczslaw concerto as well. The two Chopin Nocturnes were a perfect way to wind down after the emotional excitement of the other two pieces. I am a pianist/teacher of many years and of course know the E flat Nocturne well--what pianist doesn't? But it has never really moved me much until I heard Kennedy play it. I'm only sorry Chopin only wrote for piano--these pieces were arranged for violin. I wish there were more. If I could give this cd 10 stars I would."
Oldnslow | Seattle, Washington USA | 12/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Spectacular playing by Nigel Kennedy. I love the way Kennedy uses a sometimes gritty attack on these otherwise fairly typical late romantic works. The Mylanarsky is a wonderful find, and if the first movement had 3-4 minutes more of a good development section, would be a worthy addition to the standard repetiore. The slow movement and the gypsy-like finale are outstanding. There is nothing that struck me as particularly Polish about either work, but both are well worth hearing. The recording is first rate, and it is Kennedy's playing that keeps bringing me back for another listen. An excellent project in every respect."
Rewarding with reservations
AndrewCF | Brockton, MA USA | 11/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Moszkowski: Violin Concerto in C, Op. 30, Ballade in G minor, Op. 16 No. 1; Karlowicz: Violin Concerto in A, Op. 8 Nigel Kennedy has done a service to those of us who love late Romantic music, especially from Eastern Europe. Mlynarski's concerto is a real find, Slavic in nature but not at all dark, passionate with intimations of folk melodies. Kennedy's brilliant technique is a bit draggy at first hearing, but he conveys the emotional heart of the piece successfully. He does a much better job with the Karlowicz, easily exceeding Tasmin Little's efforts on the Hyperion disk. The adapted Chopin seems like an afterthought; perhaps a better choice would have been the wonderful Tansman concerto. Unfortunately, the recording was made in a relatively flat venue, and is particularly unflattering to the soloist. Strangely, this was an analogue-to-digital transfer. Why? The orchestra and conducting are first-rate. I recommend this disk for the rareness of the Mlynarski and the excellence of the Karlowicz."
Albert Combrink | South Africa | 01/27/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Some reviewers have commented positively on the "gritty" approach of Kennedy to these and other Romantic works. For me, the playing lacks refinement, and often the intonation is inaccurate. That said, the works are worth discovering. If you are interested in this repertoire, buy the CD rather than the DVD, which is repetitive and disappointingly unenlightening. I eagerly await their recording by a player with more polish and attention to detail."