One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,196 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

 

Recordings of the Month

November


Symphonies 1, 2, 3

 

October


Aho Symphony 5


Dowland - A Fancy


MÄNTYJÄRVI - Choral


Rachmaninov_ Babayan

September


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


TAKEMITSU MESSIAEN


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Schubert Symphony 9

 

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77/99 (1947-48) [36:08]
Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129 (1967) [32:01]
Christian Tetzlaff (violin)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds
rec. Helsinki Music Centre, Helsinki, Finland, 27-28, 30 November 2013
ONDINE ODE1239-2 [68:23]

This disc was already reviewed here by Stephen Greenbank and I see no reason to disagree with him especially concerning the sound.

I have heard a number of accounts of these concertos over the years, but none that present the works so clearly and realistically. The balance between the soloist and the orchestra could not be improved upon and one becomes aware of all kinds of detail in the orchestral part, which are not noticeable in other recordings. I also agree that the benchmarks for these two concertos must be those of their dedicatee, David Oistrakh. Of the several recordings Oistrakh made of the Concerto No. 1, my favourite remains the one he made with the New York Philharmonic under Dmitri Mitropoulos (Sony/CBS). For me the stereo account with Maxim Shostakovich on EMI does not have the same degree of excitement that the earlier one has. A third performance, recorded shortly before the one with Mitropoulos, was with the Leningrad Philharmonic under Mravinsky on Melodiya. That also brought out the anguish in the score very well, but was let down by the cruder recording. I have heard only one account of the Concerto No. 2 with Oistrakh and that was too many years ago to really remember it. I know I did not think the concerto measured up to the first one, but have changed my mind as more recent recordings of that work appeared.

As much as I considered Oistrakh’s recordings as benchmarks, I have since found Maxim Vengerov’s accounts with Mstislav Rostropovich (Warner) to challenge their supremacy. Some of this has to do with the latter’s up-to-date stereo recordings, but also they capture the sheer Russianness of these works nearly as well as Oistrakh. Vengerov’s performances are indeed powerful, dark and brooding, as required, and with palpable emotional involvement.

For somewhat lighter performances, slightly more distantly recorded, I have also admired those of Lydia Mordkovitch with Neeme Järvi and the Scottish National Orchestra (Chandos). The new ones here by Christian Tetzlaff resemble those of Mordkovitch more than Vengerov’s in their lighter, cleaner approach to the concertos. Their backing by the Helsinki Philharmonic and John Storgårds, on the other hand, is almost as powerful and exciting as Rostropovich’s for Vengerov. So, this sets up a rather different equation and in their own way these performances are just as convincing as the others. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, the sound here sets a new standard.

Although my allegiance to Vengerov is retained, I am happy to welcome these new accounts as viable alternatives. They are spectacularly well performed and recorded.

Leslie Wright

Previous review: Stephen Greenbank

Masterwork Index: Shostakovich violin concertos