JOACHIM: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 11 "In the Hungarian Style." BRAHMS:
Violin Concerto in D, Op 77.
Rachel Barton, violinist; Chicago Symphony Orch/Car
los Kalmar, cond.
CEDILLE 900000 068 (F) (DDD) TT: 47:15 & 43:20
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American violinist Rachel Barton already has made a number of
fine recordings for the Cedille label including CDs devoted to Handel sonatas,
White, Saint-Georges, Coleridge-Taylor and Meude-Monpas, duos for violin and
and a collection of virtuoso show-pieces. Now we have this enterprising CD
that contains two of the most demanding violin concertos, an imaginative coupling
that offers the Brahms concerto, composed with the assistance of Joseph Joachim,
as well as the latter's second concerto. Brahms and Joachim were close friends
since their first meeting in 1853, and it was through this friendship Brahms
met Robert Schumann. The following year Joachim began composition of his Concerto
No. 2 and worked on it for almost six years before its premiere in 1860. It
dedicated to Brahms who on several occasions conducted performances with the
composer as soloist. Joachim's concerto is a dazzling, dramatic and one of
the longest (47:15) concertos for the instrument. It has been called
by some the most difficult work in the violinists' repertory. It is
of the past haven't championed it; the only other recording currently available
is by Aaron Rosand on Vox.
Brahms began composing his violin concerto in 1878 and collaborated
with Joachim closely, asking him to "correct it." He also dedicated it to his
great friend. Originally the concerto had two middle
movements (like the second piano concerto Brahms began composing about the
same time), but these were removed and replaced with a new Adagio.
incorporated most of Joachim's changes in the orchestral part but, surprisingly,
considerably fewer of his revisions to the solo violin part. Joachim composed
the first movement cadenza; in this recording as an appendix Barton includes
her own cadenza as an alternate which easily
can be programmed into the performance.
Rachel Barton's performances of both works are elegant, technically
secure and beautiful in tone. Needless to say, the Chicago Symphony offers
superb support under Carlos Kalmar who is principal conductor of Chicago's
Orchestra and music director of the Oregon Symphony. James Ginsburg produced
the recording which was made July 2 and 3, 2002 in Orchestra Hall. Ginsburg
and his team have provided splendid, well-balanced, rich sound. Cedille is
to be commended for this issue, which offers splendid performances of two major
concertos, two CDs for the price of one. Highly Recommended!
R.E.B. (October 2003)