- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
- Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22
- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
- Violin Concerto in D minor, WoO 23
Like many a young violin soloist, Joshua Bell rode his first wave of celebrity on the core repertoire of Romantic-era concertos, moving from Mendelssohn and Bruch to the meatier fare of Tchaikovsky and Brahms. In 1988 and 1994, Bell joined the Cleveland Orchestra (with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting on the first occasion and Christoph von Dohnányi on the second) to record the latter two concertos, and paired them respectively with those of Wieniawski (No. 2) and Schumann. None of Bell's early discs for Decca were less than excellent, and these performances still hold their own in an ever-more-crowded field, especially as a bargain-priced two-disc compendium. Bell seems utterly comfortable wearing the heroic mantle of the Tchaikovsky and Brahms concertos. Typical of his work, the expressive melodies of the slow movements are executed with particularly deep feeling and beauty, but the energetic finales are also as thrilling as one could wish. As with his Mozart disc, he supplies his own cadenza here for the first movement of the Brahms, cleverly worked out and completely persuasive in context. Even if it's not quite at the same level as those two major masterpieces, Wieniawski's Second Concerto deserves its place in the virtuoso repertoire, and Bell conveys a sense of real enjoyment in overcoming its challenges. As for the Schumann, still an underrated work today, it receives what might be the most intensely committed performance of all these recordings. All told, the Brahms/Schumann sessions are just a smidgen more compelling than the earlier Tchaikovsky/Wieniawski ones, but if the program of these four concertos appeals, this set can be recommended without hesitation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tchaikovsy, Wieniawsky, Brahms, Schumann: Violin Concertos based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Joshua Bell is my favorite classical violinist and I recommend this album highly!
THE COLLECTION IS THE BEST OF RUBINSTEIN. I HAVE GIVEN THREE AS GIFTS.