Brahms' Double Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra is somewhat of a musical anachronism. Not since Beethoven's early Triple Concerto had another significant concerto been written for more than one instrument. Brahms' contribution -- his final concerto composition -- came about as a result of a commission by a cellist. In an attempt to rekindle his failing friendship with violinist Joseph Joachim, he included the solo violin part as well. The concerto has indeed become an important and frequently performed part of the repertoire, despite a curious suggestion to the contrary found in this album's liner notes. Violinist Vaclav Hudecek and cellist Alzbeta Vicková join the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra for this surprisingly satisfying interpretation of this intense composition. Vicková's sound, in particular, is impressively dark and powerful. The two soloists perform together with admirable connection, wonderful balance, and a keen sense of matched interpretation. Intonation problems occasionally crop up in the violin part, but certainly not enough to discourage listeners from giving this album a try. Both soloists are given individual spotlight in performances of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations and Sérénade Mélancholique. Here, again, both artists deliver warm, lyrical, and technically brilliant performances. Vicková steals the show, though, with her commanding, sensitive performance of the Rococo Variations. Multisonic's sound is clear and deep.
Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Concerto for violin, cello & orchestra in A minor ("Double"), Op. 102|