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Prokofiev: Violin Concertos - Vadim Gluzman/Neeme Järvi

Prokofiev: Violin Concertos - Vadim Gluzman/Neeme Järvi

BIS  BIS-2142

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Prokofiev: Violin Concertos 1 & 2; Solo Violin Sonata

Vadim Gluzman (violin)
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Neeme Järvi (conductor)


Nathan Milstein once described Sergei Prokofiev’s first violin concerto as ‘one of the best modern violin concertos… a brilliant piece, perhaps the finest of all Prokofiev’s works’, while the second concerto was taken up by violinists such as David Oistrakh and Jascha Heifetz. Here the two works are interpreted by the Ukrainian-born Vadim Gluzman, who as many critics have remarked is firmly based in the glorious tradition of these and other virtuosos of the 19th and 20th centuries. His several discs for BIS have included concertos by Tchaikovsky and Bruch as well as by Gubaidulina and Barber, earning him accolades such as Diapason d’or de l’année, and numerous recommendations by magazines and websites including The Strad, BBC Music Magazine, Fono Forum and ClassicsToday.com.

On the present disc, Gluzman is supported by the eminent Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Neeme Järvi, with impressive credentials in Prokofiev’s music. Gluzman rounds off the programme with Prokofiev’s only solo work for the violin, the Sonata in D major, Op.115 – one of the composer’s less familiar compositions for the instrument. Strictly speaking it is a sonata for several violins: Prokofiev wrote the piece in 1947 to be played in unison by violin students. Despite its pedagogical purpose, the sonata is far more than just a technical exercise, however, presenting an overwhelming richness of ideas and emotions within a short time-frame.

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Comment by Jan Arell - August 22, 2016 (1 of 5)

I don't know this music well enough to comment on the performance compared to the numerous other performances, some by much more famous violinists, but it sounds very good to me. But let me comment on the engineering. In my living room, with my amplifier and surround speakers, and to my ears - this is definitely one of the best classical recordings I have ever heard. I've read others describing sound quality as 'holographic'. Now I know what they have been aiming at. (Downloaded as a 5.0 flac file from eclassical.com)

Comment by hiredfox - August 29, 2016 (2 of 5)

We are more used to Gluzman being accompanied by the Bergen Philharmonic under Andrew Litton, every disc of his released by BIS so far has been a winner. He is a real talent making his way upwards with aplomb. These concertos offer a stiffer test and so eagerly awaited. In concert he is an excellent performer, not too flamboyant or affected in any way.

Comment by hiredfox - September 6, 2016 (3 of 5)

With an excellent alternative SACD of exactly this repertoire by Arabella Steinbacher brilliantly performed and supported by the excellent Russian National Orchestra, it comes as quite a disappointment to me that this new release of Guzman's does not offer a serious challenge to the first choice status of the Pentatone recording, in fact it does not even come close. Disappointingly low key throughout, Gluzman seems too hesitant and lacking in confidence to master these tricky works let alone to bring any sort of new insights to their meaning. The recording also leaves much to be desired with the soloist often lost in the orchestral support and a broad and characterless presentation in stereo lacking detail and precision. Gluzman is much more committed and decisive in the Sonata but by then my attention and interest had waned. zzzzzzzzzzzz

Comment by Bruce Zeisel - September 10, 2016 (4 of 5)

Gluzman performed with the Boston Symphony in Symphony Hall. I had looked forward to his coming, based on his previous BIS recordings, but the reality was quite disappointing. No it was such an uninspiring performance I cannot recall what he played.

Comment by Jan Arell - September 20, 2016 (5 of 5)

To 'hiredfox': Well, you obviously know this music much better than I do. For many years I just didn't like Prokofiev but have now begun to get in touch with it. Thanks to the nice prices of eclassical.com's introduction offers I have also listened to some of his symphonies. Sometimes it's hard but I feel that I'm going to like them. It's a matter of endurance.
My remarks was on the MCH sound and yours seem to concern the stereo sound, which I haven't heard.