Julian Rachlin / Mariss Jansons

Brahms: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3

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Lithuanian-born and Viennese-trained, violin virtuoso Julian Rachlin is only lightly represented on disc. In fact, this 2004 recording of Rachlin performing Mozart's Concerto in G major with Brahms' Concerto in D major is his first since 1995 pairing of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky's Concerto in D major. One can understand why: Rachlin's three earlier recordings for Sony showed all his virtues as a player -- a strong arm, a sweet tone, and a warm heart -- but they also showed his limitations -- an ardent impetuosity and a tendency to get maudlin in slow movements. In the intervening years, Rachlin has matured tremendously as an artist. His performances with Mariss Jansons leading the Bayerischen Rundfunks Sinfonie-orchester continue to show all his virtues to best advantage but without his previous limitations. Rachlin's Mozart is light and pure and the quiet close of the Adagio is superb. Rachlin's Brahms' is broad-shouldered and mighty-muscled, but the melting lyricism of the central Adagio is quite affecting. Jansons is a self-effacing accompanist and the Sinfonie-orchester is a comfortable ensemble. Warners' sound is big, plain, and loud.

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