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Bruch, Mendelssohn & Beethoven - Quint

Bruch, Mendelssohn & Beethoven - Quint

Avanti  1036-2 (2 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical


Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Beethoven: Romances for violin & orchestra Opp. 40 & 50

Philippe Quint
Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria
Carlos Miguel Prieto

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3 of 4 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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Recording
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Sala Nezahualcoyoti, Mexico City 30 August - 6 September 2011
Produced by Frederic Grun, Carlos de la Mura & Sergio Vela
Artistic director, editing & mixing: Aline Blondieu
Balance engineer: Geraro Macin
SACD mastering: Bastiaan Kuijt
Reviews (1)
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Review by John Broggio - May 7, 2012

For the two main works here, usually so popular in combination, this is (only!) the second pairing to grace SACD with the added bonus of Beethoven's two Romance's for violin & orchestra (the other Bruch/Mendelssohn disc is Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos - Midori).

Individually, recordings of these evergreen works are also somewhat surprisingly thin on the ground. Amongst the more recently recorded performances released on SACD: Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Symphony No. 3 - Swensen & Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 - Vadim Gluzman/Andrew Litton stand out; and for the Beethoven, it is probably worth considering Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Romances - Ferschtman / de Vriend too.

Phillippe Quint plays with a radiant, exuberant freshness that is quite disarming. In the Bruch Quint rises up with apparent caution before throwing it to the winds (figuratively and literally) in dramatic fashion! This sudden change of musical gear appears to catch the conductor and orchestra on the hop and there are moments where they nearly (but never quite) become disentangled from one another. Sadly, the orchestra appears to have been told to play in a most reserved manner that not only goes against the soloists conception but (more importantly) that of Bruch as well. The slow movement contains many moments of ardour from Quint that are genuinely touching and the finale is invested with the feeling that Quint is mastering this piece for the first time. Sadly the same cannot be said for the response of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria under Carlos Miguel Prieto all too much of the time - phrasing is underplayed and so the drama is similarly lacking. A great shame.

The G major Romance of Beethoven separates the two concertos; here die-hard HIP fans will find Quint's response to the score a little too "old school" but here, at least, the conception of conductor and soloist appear to be similar although the same complaint about the reticence of the conductor and/or orchestra to engage with a fuller dynamic range still applies. Tempo choice & phrasing is mainstream and an unusually lush sound is heard - to some this will be joy to the ear, others less so.
The Avanti recording also deserves praise for the capturing of one of the most golden of violin sounds to grace SACD to date.

As in the Mendelssohn, Quint delivers a wonderfully refreshing account and (joy of joys) the orchestra is finally let of the leash in the tutti passages - this account is wholly recommendable (if not quite displacing others). As with the pianists that Avanti seem to find, Quint imbues everything he touches with a stunning technique, fine imagination that makes the commonly heard sound freshly minted. Despite taking the outer movements at fairly brisk tempos, Quint finds room to expand in the more rhapsodic sections of the work and (most importantly) link them naturally. The central, slow movement is imbued with a natural eloquence that belies Quint's relative youth.

As an "encore", the F major Romance of Beethoven is heard and shares much of the same characteristics of the G major work. One major disappointment is the tuning of the orchestra in the tutti passages - the strings and woodwind stubbornly think each other is in the wrong (I think the culprits are the wind but could be wrong). Why this was not picked up and corrected in the session time allocated is a mystery for it stands out like a sore thumb.

The recording captures the beautiful gossamer thread of Quint's sound to a tee but in addition to the orchestral response being somewhat monochrome, they are additionally placed quite backwards which does them or Quint no favours.

I hope to hear much more from this violinist but greater care needs to be exercised over the choice of conductor & orchestra - they stop this disc from being a "recommended enthusiastically", rather it's a "buy if convenient and not too fussed outside the solo line". A great shame.

Copyright © 2012 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

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Sonics (Multichannel):

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Comments (4)
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Comment by Tekrad - July 22, 2017 (1 of 4)

In comparison to the SACD Liza Fershchtmann version of the Mendelssohn Violin concerto, I found the Quint recording to be superior. The Quint recording seems to be miked closer (my taste), and his phrasing seems a bit more emotional and passionate. The Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria has been allowed to shine more than the Het Guilders Orchestra. The latter just seems to be a passive accompaniment, where the former is actively engaged in a musical conversation with the soloist.
The Quint recording shines the most on the RBCD layer...clear and present. The Fershtmann recording seems distant and too "airy" for my taste.
Don't buy this multiformat pairing for the DVD if you can't play PAL discs.

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - July 28, 2017 (2 of 4)

Hi Tekrad,

What strikes me most in your comment is not the comparison between the one or the other provincial orchestra, but your suggesting that the CD layer sounds best. Makes me wonder about the kind of equipment you listen to. I’d have thought that HRAudio members agree that the higher the definition the better (and more impressively detailed) the sound. No offence meant, just curiosity. I do like Quint and I have his wonderful recording with the Bournemouth Symphony (RBCD Naxos) of William Schuman’s violin concerto. Sadly not available in Hi-Res (as is so little of his intellectual output).

Comment by hiredfox - July 31, 2017 (3 of 4)

We do agree with you Adrian, that particular battle was fought and won a long time ago. We need a crash course for newcomers ;-)

Comment by William Hecht - July 31, 2017 (4 of 4)

Hi guys,
Since it's almost certain that this disc's rbcd layer is the byproduct of the hi res stereo layer after downsampling there's no way it can sound objectively better without some other post production manipulation. I think what we're looking at is the expression of Tekrad's own preferences. There are clues in his post (closer=good, airy=bad) that suggest that he prefers a more aggressive, front row, kind of sound, and perhaps the less refined rbcd layer (i.e. less dynamic range = louder = closer = clearer = better) gets him nearer to that experience. We all have preferences, just look at us. John is convinced that taking stereo sacd to the highest possible level of refinement makes for the most realistic home listening experience while Adrian and I think that a well balanced multichannel setup is better yet. Given the basic and immutable fact that we listen in different environments it shouldn't surprise us that someone out there thinks the rbcd layer sounds better. HIP or traditional? Piano or harpsichord for Bach? Was John Cage a genius or a con man? It's all part of what makes our little cyber gathering fun.
Bill

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SA-CD + DVD