Octavius | United States | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perlman is without question one of the greatest violin prodigies since Menuhin and Heifetz and is simply an example of perfection particularly with German, Polish, and Klezmer traditions of virtuoso violin. His work is therefore particularly impressive with composers such as Dvorack, Wienawski, or Fritz Kreisler who were strongly influenced by such traditions. If he would have a weak point it would be Italian Baroque pieces such as Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' that are in a very different method and, somewhat less so, Italian Romantic such as Paganini which is in the same musical epoch as his specialty with similar techniques. Despite these technical limitations, Perlman is such a master of his art and the instrument that it is almost really academic. His bow glides across the violin effortlessly bringing both incredible fluidity and clarity in his execution. Perlman is a virtuoso of the first class with his Vivaldi simply sounding more as the sweeter Fritz Kreisler fiddling his romantic pieces in the parlors of Vienna. One thing to remember is that, as with Karajan's or Solti's performances, this is a symphonic performance that is larger than a typical chamber piece and most instruments outside of Perlman's are modern. In terms of purchasing symphonic renditions of this chamber piece, this is one of the best performances particularly because Perlman was young and reaching his zenith which still remains high in place today. For Baroque interpretations, the best I have heard is Pina Carmirelli's 1982 performance with I Musici di Roma which combines an Italian Romantic style with primarily Baroque techniques. They also play almost exclusively on Stradivarius instruments giving the music an unprecedented resonance and quality of sound. Carmirelli has complete mastery over the instrument and actually surpasses Perlman in talent as far as the proper application of Italian Romantic and Baroque techniques. Acardo's performance with I Solisti delle Settimane Musicali di Napoli is also a very comparable one performed with Stradivarius strings. Acardo is actually equal to, if not surpasses, Perlman in his mastery of Paganini and is a foremost virtuoso in the Italian Baroque style of which Perlman is not.