Spiritual and Mellow
Yogesh Kumar | Bangalore, India | 01/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yehudi Menuhin made his debut at the age of 11 playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the legendary Fritz Busch conducting the New York Philharmonic. Yehudi loved the Beethoven concerto so much that he negotiated it with Frtiz Busch who had actually suggested Mozart's 5th violin concerto for the debut. Since then he has played the Beethoven countless number of times.The CD contains the recording of the Beethoven concerto with Yehudi standing to play the violin and conducting his own orchestra. For a few minor orchestral lapses in the concerto, he didn't want it to be published/released. But this is one of the most elegant renditions of the Beethoven concerto I've ever heard. After having heard Milstein, Kyung Wha Chung and Gidon Kremer's peformances of it, I've found this one the most spiritually fulfilling. Half way into the second movement, the beauty is so profound that I find myself worldess, thoughtless, almost at the brink of entering a state of the Zen No-Mind. Yehudi's spiritual power flows into the movement and one feels soaked in spiritual satiety. The first movement is winsome, although one can remark that the orchestra is light. Fritz Kreisler's cadenzas are always a wonder to hear. The third movement feels a bit mellowed in hands of an ageing violinist, but the lyricism and insight is never found missing. The sound quality too is good. Additionaly there is the sweet Romance #1 played as if it were a song. The Serenade Melancolique, I thought, is not remarkable compared to the one I've heard by Issac Stern."