This BIS SACD juxtaposes two extremes of the violin repertoire. On the one hand, we have the Glazunov A minor Violin Concerto, a composition that, despite its highly successful premiere, has fallen somewhat out of favor in modern concert halls. On the other end of the spectrum is Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, which had a somewhat shakier initial premiere but has since secured its position as one of the most popular, often performed, and frequently recorded concertos in the entire repertoire. Both of these concertos are historically tied to the great violinist and pedagogue Leopold Auer, whose 1690 Stradivarius violin is heard on the present recording in the hands of violinist Vadim Gluzman. Gluzman honors not only these two concertos, but also Auer's tradition of performance excellence. His interpretation of both concertos combines the best qualities of dazzling technical precision; solid intonation; a deep, rich, and guttural sound quality perfectly in line with the Russian tradition; and fresh, energetic musical interpretations. The Glazunov concerto's many technical hurdles are cleared easily and actually brought together in a much more musically satisfying fashion than previous recordings of the work in memory. The Tchaikovsky concerto is given new life and energy in Gluzman's hands -- not an easy task with a composition recorded as frequently as this one. The recorded sound of the album is exceptional, even capturing the occasional and satisfying string buzz, ferule click, and production noises, which only serve to exemplify the energy with which Gluzman performs.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
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