A great career is launched
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 10/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two nights ago while visiting Chicago I heard Nikolaj Znaider live, and it was a cpativating experience. I rushed home and bought this, his first CD, and it fulfills the promise of what I heard (he performed the Mendelssohn concerto with the CSO under Barenboim and has just recorded it). The Amazon reviewer has stated everything perfectly: Znaider is a virtuoso second and a musicain first, never intruding himself into the compoer's total conception. He plays a gorgeous Stradivarius, caught on this CD very well in quite closely miked sound.
To show you how unassuming this virtuoso is, the second half of the CSO program was devoted to the Mahelr Fifth. Without fanfare Znaider sneaked into the back row of the first violins and played along, and he even turned the pages for his desk mate!
There are fine versions of the Prokofiev Second around, but Znaider is competitive with all of them. HIs is better conducted (by Maris Jansons) than the vengerov or Shaham recordings I previously favored. If you want warm, lyrical violin playing to melt the heart a la Joshua Bell, rest asured that Znaider is off to a great career with exactly that style."
Awarded Rosette Award from Penguin Guide to Recorded Classic
T. Carlsen | 09/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Glazunov piece is amazing! I highly recommend that as an MP3 download. The entire album is good, but the violin playing in the Glazunov is very special.
This album received a Rosette designations from Penguin Guide. It also received a strong review from Gramophone, which called it "a confident, abundantly characterful account... Znaider brings an extra lyrical ardour and tender intimacy to Prokofiev's soaring melodies, not to mention a greater rhythmic swagger in the finale. But what really lifts this account to special heights is the chamber-like rapport and concentration Znaider generates with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio SO..."
If you have an MP3 player, download the Glazanov for sure. I have not heard better. The Tchaikovsky is excellent. The Prokofiev is very good, but I have heard just as good elsewhere."