Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Minor, Op.8: I. Allegro
Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Minor, Op.8: II. Lento ma non troppo
Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Minor, Op.8: III. Finale: Rondo (presto)
Sonata For Violin And Piano In E Flat, Op.18: I. Allegro, ma non troppo
Sonata For Violin And Piano In E Flat, Op.18: II. Improvisation: Andante cantabile
Sonata For Violin And Piano In E Flat, Op.18: III. Finale: Andante; Allegro
These early works of Strauss are both in the romantic tradition, with none of the composer's later innovations. The Violin Concerto is immature, fit for listening only in your less demanding moods when you don't insist on ... more »much content or interesting structure. The Sonata, written when Strauss was 23, is much more successful and deserves to be a mainstay of the violin literature. Chang and Sawallisch don't do anything with the Concerto to disturb its equilibrium, so you can enjoy it for what little it has to offer. They have a highly unusual approach to the Sonata, very mellow and unaggressive. Some listeners may love this style, but others will want more outgoing quality in the music; they will enjoy Steinhardt/Mayorga much more. Still, it's fascinating to hear such a successful collaboration as this one between performers almost half a century apart in age! --Leslie Gerber« less
These early works of Strauss are both in the romantic tradition, with none of the composer's later innovations. The Violin Concerto is immature, fit for listening only in your less demanding moods when you don't insist on much content or interesting structure. The Sonata, written when Strauss was 23, is much more successful and deserves to be a mainstay of the violin literature. Chang and Sawallisch don't do anything with the Concerto to disturb its equilibrium, so you can enjoy it for what little it has to offer. They have a highly unusual approach to the Sonata, very mellow and unaggressive. Some listeners may love this style, but others will want more outgoing quality in the music; they will enjoy Steinhardt/Mayorga much more. Still, it's fascinating to hear such a successful collaboration as this one between performers almost half a century apart in age! --Leslie Gerber
"I read the editorial review. I will admit, I am not a stud classical music critic. However, with Sarah's powerful style, absolute mechanical perfection, and emotional transmission abilities, no performance of her's can be described as boring, or immature. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra can hardly be desribed as lame either. Sarah certainly has the ability to resurrect the dead pieces from the past and breathe life into them. She has done it before on her other cd's. This is what happened to the performance of Richard Strauss' violin concerto. She wouldn't have done it if she didn't think she could pull it off. I actually enjoyed the concerto more than the sonata because I thought it was much more melodic.Sarah Chang is the youngest violinist ever to receive a career grant and in 1999 she received the Avery Fisher prize, again. She is 19 years old and In my opinion, Sarah outdoes established performers such as even Itzhac Perlman and Fritz Kreisler (mechanically excellent but emotionally lacking in comparison) and Jascha Heifetz and Annie Sophie Mutter (too squeaky for me).At her age she has collaborated with the likes of the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Cleveland, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, and many others. In 2000, She will be at Carnegie Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and a host of other performances here and abroad.She has been considered worthy of working with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Bernarn Haitink, James Levine, Kurt Massur, Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Hans Vonk and others.And she is only going to get better. (I wonder if that is possible).Please, give her a listen. If not this cd,I highly recommend her stunning performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis).I could go on and on, but I only have 1000 words. In short, Sarah has done it again."
A music fan | 07/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Strauss VC might be considered immature and lacking in substance, but it is still very enjoyable to listen to. It is full of exciting moments, with beautiful melodies in between, very much like the Tchaikovsky concerto, although not as great a peice. Sarah Chang and Wolfgang Sawallisch give a very staightforward and lyrical reading of the work. Sarah's phrasing sounds sweet and mature, as in all of her recordings. The accompaniment is well balanced and very accurate, always letting the soloist shine through. The outer movements, paticularly the last, are played with incredible speed and skill. The slow movement serves as a calm zone between the more robust parts of the concerto.
In the sonata, Chang and Sawallisch play in a very relaxed and laid back manner, not to say there aren't any moments of suspense and drama. It is a worthwhile listen, although may not be the definitve recording of this work. It will nonetheless be an interesting edition to any music lover's library. Stongly recomended.
*And just a side note on all these comparisons between Hilary Hahn and Sarah Chang. I am a huge fan of both, and have most of their recordings. They both play so well, yet so differently that it is pointless to compare the two. They have completly differently sounds, both beautiful, but not at all the same. Chang's vibrato is much wider, Hahn's style is much lighter. Hahn tends to be more restrained, while Chang lends her playing to a more spontaneous style. They each bring out very different qualities in the music they play. I suggest you listen to both, rather than turn the two against eachother. They are two of the greatest violinists of our generation, and possibly any generation."
Missing the Magic
Paul Dykstra | Sanbornton, NH USA | 01/03/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I recently listened to the collaboration in question since I'd been placed in the position of learning the piano part to the Strauss violin Sonata within a 3 week period. Hoping to get at the spirit of the piece by delving directly into the recording, I was disappointed. The duo of Chang/Sawallisch takes a middle of the road, conservative and risk free approach. There is nothing to criticize about the ensemble playing, generally, and Chang's intonation is wonderful. It's rather a shame that the recording itself is rather muted in tone color (engineering wise) and I found this disappointing given the high price of this issue. Mr. Sawallisch plays competently but mostly unimaginatively- in order for Strauss to come over the footlights, especially on a recording, greater abandon and risk must be the order of the day. There is not enough dynamic range on the part of both performers, but this may be a function of the sub-par recording production itself. Those who cannot play the music for themselves might do better with another collaboration."
It's a bit flawed, I think
Eric S. Kim | Southern California | 04/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PROS: I never really realized that Sarah Chang was world-famous, until I bought this CD. And I can see why she's so popular. She's a master at the violin. When she performs R. Strauss's Violin Concerto & Sonata, I'm almost floored by the beauty and precision of her handling the violin. I wonder if she's done Sibelius's Violin Concerto?
The Orchestra is an attention-grabber, too. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is very much like Christoph von Dohnanyi's Cleveland Orchestra: it's top-class and conveys the same lovely atmosphere as does Cleveland.
CONS: I mean no offense, but I find conductor Sawallisch as the drawback to this CD. This is the first time I've heard R. Strauss's Violin Concerto. Now, when I listen to a classical piece that I've never heard before, I can almost tell when the lyricism is stressed, or when the intensity is exaggerated, and so on. I can also tell when the music sounds very bland, and that's what I feel when I listen to Sawallisch's rendition. Sawallisch makes the Concerto very middle-of-the-road. Unlike David Zinman and Andre Previn (two conductors who at least put a little bit of flair while they rely on calculations in their interpretations), Sawallisch sounds like he has no interest with R. Strauss (a composer that's supposed to be the anti-Brahms). Now, don't get me wrong. I admire his live performance of Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen". I just don't think that this Violin Concerto is the right piece for him."