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Thread: Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, op. 77

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Default Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, op. 77

    Brahms' violin concerto is currently on the fifth tier of the Talk Classical community's favorite and most highly recommended works, making it the highest-ranked violin concerto.

    As usual for a work of this stature, Wikipedia has a nice article about it, including a little analysis that amounts to a listening guide, but the best online listening guide to this work that I know of is by Kelly Dean Hansen. The best source for recording recommendations is probably Trout's blog post on this work:

    Condensed Listing:
    1. Heifetz, Reiner (cond.), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1955)
    2. Oistrakh, Klemperer (cond.), French National Radio Orchestra (1958)
    3. Oistrakh, Szell (cond.), Cleveland Orchestra (1969)
    4. Szeryng, Monteux (cond.), London Symphony Orchestra (1958)
    5. Neveu, Dobrowen (cond.), Philharmonia Orchestra (1946)
    6. Oistrakh, Konwitschny (cond.), Staatskapelle Dresden (1954)
    7. Hahn, Marriner (cond.), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (2000)
    8. Milstein, Steinberg (cond.), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1954)
    9. Szigeti, Harty (cond.), Hallé Orchestra (1928)
    10. Mutter, Karajan (cond.), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1981)
    This site also has a poll on this site and a lengthy thread about favorite recordings of this work.

    Anyway, as usual, the main questions of this thread are: Do you like this work? Do you love it? Why? What do you like about it? Do you have any reservations about it?

    And of course, what are your favorite recordings?
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
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    Favorites:

    Szeryng/Monteux/London Symphony
    Oistrakh/Konwitschny/Saxon State Orchestra* (actually, The Dresden Staatskapelle). *mono recording
    Grumiaux/Van Beinum/Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra (Royal Concertgebouw)

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    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Oh boy, how long do you guys have? This is my favorite work. I have 163 recordings of it. Yes you read that correctly. Just over half of these are on CD and the rest downloaded. Yeah, I'm pretty nuts for the piece. It all started 26 years ago when I had a front row seat to hear Joshua Bell, and I was hooked. It is the dark, searching quality of the first movement that most gets me.

    As far as recordings go, let me start by saying I am NOT a big fan of the famous Heifetz/Reiner version. I remember reading the reviews in the mid-90s and excitedly purchasing it, only to be sorely disappointed. Heifetz and Reiner toss it off as a showpiece, which it is not. I must hear struggle and heart to like a Brahms VC recording. Ironically enough, Heifetz's earlier account with Koussevitzky is one of my absolute favorites. In that recording I hear true poetry.

    Admittedly biased as I am, I do not think there is another piece in all of the classical music repertoire that has been as lucky on disc as this one. I believe it is THE work to demonstrate your chops as a violinist, even more than the Beethoven. And sure enough, there are literally dozens of GREAT readings from every violinist imaginable.

    It is hard to round down, but I would have to say the following are the most essential renditions for everyone to hear once:

    Bronislaw Huberman/Artur Rodzinski (Pristine, Music & Arts)
    Fritz Kreisler/Leo Blech (Naxos, Music & Arts, Biddulph, Pearl)
    Jascha Heifetz/Serge Koussevitzky (RCA, Naxos, IDIS)
    Joseph Szigeti/Sir Hamilton Harty (EMI, Naxos)
    Adolf Busch/Hans Münch (Guild, Music & Arts, Arbiter)
    Ginette Neveu/Roger Desormière (Tahra, SWR)
    Efrem Zimbalist/Serge Koussevitzky (Doremi, Pristine)
    Georg Kulenkampff/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Dutton, Pearl)
    Christian Ferras/Rudolf Kempe (Archipel)
    Erica Morini/George Szell (Music & Arts)
    Itzhak Perlman/Carlo Maria Giulini (EMI)
    David Oistrakh/George Szell (EMI)
    Johanna Martzy/Paul Kletzki (Testament)
    Herman Krebbers/Bernard Haitink (Philips)
    Nathan Milstein/Anatole Fistoulari (Praga, EMI)
    Anne-Sophie Mutter/Kurt Masur (DG)

    You might say Huberman, Kreisler, Heifetz, and Szigeti form a sort of Mt Rushmore, each with something different to say. But it doesn't stop with them, as all lovers of this concerto must hear Busch, Neveu, Zimbalist, Kulenkampff, Ferras, Morini, and Martzy. And then for modern stereo, with all apologies to Szeryng and Grumiaux fans, I must give pride of place to Perlman, Oistrakh, Krebbers, Milstein, and Mutter.

    But of course I am nuts for this work, so I have ranked all 163 recordings in my collection, giving five stars to the most esteemed versions.

    Here is the full list. Happy listening!

    1. Bronislaw Huberman/Artur Rodzinski (Pristine, Music & Arts) *****
    2. Fritz Kreisler/Leo Blech (Naxos, Music & Arts, Biddulph, Pearl) *****
    3. Fritz Kreisler/John Barbirolli (Naxos, Biddulph, Opus Kura, Classica d’Oro, Strings) *****
    4. Jascha Heifetz/Serge Koussevitzky (RCA, Naxos, IDIS) *****
    5. Ginette Neveu/Roger Desormière (Tahra, SWR) *****
    6. Joseph Szigeti/Sir Hamilton Harty (EMI, Naxos) *****
    7. Adolf Busch/Hans Münch (Guild, Music & Arts, Arbiter) *****
    8. Efrem Zimbalist/Serge Koussevitzky (Doremi, Pristine) *****
    9. Ginette Neveu/Issay Dobrowen (Dutton, EMI) *****
    10. Georg Kulenkampff/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Dutton, Pearl) *****
    11. Jascha Heifetz/Arturo Toscanini (Doremi, IDIS) *****
    12. Christian Ferras/Rudolf Kempe (Archipel) *****
    13. Erica Morini/George Szell (Music & Arts) *****
    14. Erica Morini/Bruno Walter (Tahra, Archipel, Nuova Era) *****
    15. Adolf Busch/William Steinberg (Music & Arts) *****
    16. David Oistrakh/Kirill Kondrashin (1963 rec.) (BBC) *****
    17. David Oistrakh/Otmar Nussio (Aura) *****
    18. Itzhak Perlman/Carlo Maria Giulini (EMI) *****
    19. David Oistrakh/George Szell (EMI) *****
    20. Johanna Martzy/Paul Kletzki (Testament) *****
    21. Herman Krebbers/Bernard Haitink (Philips) ****1/2
    22. Jascha Heifetz/George Szell (Prelude) ****1/2
    23. Gioconda de Vito/Paul van Kempen (Naxos, Arkadia) ****1/2
    24. Yehudi Menuhin/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Tahra, Naxos, EMI) ****1/2
    25. Nathan Milstein/Paul Kletzki (Claves) ****1/2
    26. David Oistrakh/Charles Bruck (INA) ****1/2
    27. David Oistrakh/Sir Malcolm Sargent (BBC) ****1/2
    28. Leonid Kogan/Kirill Kondrashin (1967 rec.) (Melodiya LP) ****1/2
    29. Leonid Kogan/Karl Eliasberg (Monopole, Arlecchino, Music Online) ****1/2
    30. Ginette Neveu/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Tahra, Scribendum, Acanta) ****1/2
    31. Ginette Neveu/Antal Doráti (Music & Arts) ****1/2
    32. Nathan Milstein/Anatole Fistoulari (Praga, EMI) ****1/2
    33. Christian Ferras/Carl Schuricht (Testament) ****1/2
    34. Erica Morini/Artur Rodzinski (DG, Westminster, Millennium) ****1/2
    35. David Oistrakh/Kirill Kondrashin (1952 rec.) (Melodiya, Omega, Urania, Moscow Studio) ****1/2
    36. Anne-Sophie Mutter/Kurt Masur (DG) ****
    37. David Oistrakh/Hermann Abendroth (Tahra, Scribendum) ****
    38. David Oistrakh/Franz Konwitschny (DG, Profil, Ds Classics) ****
    39. Nathan Milstein/Pierre Monteux (Tahra, Arioso, Music & Arts, Audiophile) ****
    40. David Oistrakh/Antonio Pedrotti (Supraphon, Multisonic) ****
    41. David Oistrakh/Fritz Rieger (Archipel) ****
    42. Nathan Milstein/William Steinberg (EMI) ****
    43. Nathan Milstein/Victor de Sabata (Tahra, Archipel, Nuova Era, Arkadia) ****
    44. Herman Krebbers/Hein Jordans (Philips, Fontana LP) ****
    45. David Oistrakh/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1966 rec.) (EMG, Leningrad Masters, Icone) ****
    46. Gioconda de Vito/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Tahra, Idis, Urania, Music & Arts) ****
    47. Leonid Kogan/Kirill Kondrashin (1959 rec.) (EMI, Guild) ****
    48. Leonid Kogan/Pierre Monteux (Doremi, Melodiya) ****
    49. Yehudi Menuhin/Sir Adrian Boult (BBC) ****
    50. Leonid Kogan/Charles Bruck (Testament) ****
    51. Janine Jansen/Antonio Pappano (Decca) ****
    52. Henryk Szeryng/Pierre Monteux (RCA, JVC) ****
    53. Gioconda de Vito/Eugen Jochum (Tahra) ****
    54. Gioconda de Vito/Rudolf Schwarz (Archipel, Amare) ****
    55. Xue-Wei/Ivor Bolton (ASV) ****
    56. Ida Haendel/Sergiu Celibidache (Testament) ****
    57. Isaac Stern/Sir Thomas Beecham (Sony) ****
    58. Yehudi Menuhin/Rudolf Kempe (EMI) ****
    59. Arthur Grumiaux/Eduard van Beinum (Philips, Regis) ****
    60. David Oistrakh/Otto Klemperer (EMI) ***1/2
    61. Joseph Szigeti/Dmitri Mitropoulos (Music & Arts, Legend, Enterprise) ***1/2
    62. Jascha Heifetz /Fritz Reiner (RCA) ***1/2
    63. Nathan Milstein/Herbert von Karajan (Tahra) ***1/2
    64. David Oistrakh/Witold Rowicki (CD Accord) ***1/2
    65. Gioconda de Vito/Ferenc Fricsay (Audite) ***1/2
    66. Yehudi Menuhin/George Schneevoigt (Doremi) ***1/2
    67. Michael Rabin/Rafael Kubelik (Doremi) ***1/2
    68. Michael Rabin/Zoltan Rozsnyai (Testament) ***1/2
    69. Zino Francescatti/Eugene Ormandy (Biddulph, Naxos) ***1/2
    70. Joseph Szigeti/Eugene Ormandy (Sony) ***1/2
    71. Vadim Repin/Riccardo Chailly (DG) ***1/2
    72. Joshua Bell/Christoph von Dohnányi (Decca) ***1/2
    73. Henryk Szeryng/Antal Doráti (Mercury) ***1/2
    74. Henryk Szeryng/Rafael Kubelik (Orfeo) ***1/2
    75. Christian Ferras/Herbert von Karajan (DG) ***1/2
    76. Leonid Kogan/Vasil Stefanov (BNR) ***1/2
    77. Pinchas Zukerman/Daniel Barenboim (DG) ***1/2
    78. Albert Spalding/Wilhelm Loibner (Indie, Pearl) ***1/2
    79. Christian Ferras/Charles Bruck (Ina) ***1/2
    80. Wolfgang Schneiderhan/Karl Böhm (Urania, Opus Kura) ***1/2
    81. David Garrett/Zubin Mehta (Decca) ***1/2
    82. Anne-Sophie Mutter/Herbert von Karajan (DG) ***1/2
    83. Arthur Grumiaux/Ernest Ansermet (Andromeda) ***1/2
    84. Nathan Milstein/István Kertész (Music & Arts) ***1/2
    85. Ossy Renardy/Charles Munch (Dutton, Pristine, Dante, Biddulph) ***1/2
    86. Hideko Udagawa/Sir Charles Mackerras (Chandos, Nimbus) ***1/2
    87. Viktoria Mullova/Claudio Abbado (Philips) ***1/2
    88. Herman Krebbers/Willem Mengelberg (Music & Arts) ***1/2
    89. Julia Fischer/Yakov Kreizberg (Pentatone) ***1/2
    90. Tasmin Little/Vernon Handley (EMI) ***1/2
    91. Boris Belkin/Iván Fischer (Decca) ***1/2
    92. Shlomo Mintz/Claudio Abbado (DG) ***1/2
    93. Ulf Hoelscher/Klaus Tennstedt (EMI) ***1/2
    94. Wolfgang Schneiderhan/Paul van Kempen (DG) ***
    95. Gidon Kremer/Leonard Bernstein (DG) ***
    96. Isaac Stern/Eugene Ormandy (Sony) ***
    97. Berl Senofsky/Sir John Barbirolli (West Hill Radio Archives) ***
    98. Hilary Hahn/Sir Neville Marriner (Sony) ***
    99. Gil Shaham/Claudio Abbado (DG) ***
    100. Hans Klepper/Alfred Scholz (Quintessence) ***
    101. Zino Francescatti/Dmitri Mitropoulos (Orfeo, Intaglio, Andromeda) ***
    102. Ricardo Odnoposoff/Carl Bamberger (Doremi) ***
    103. Elmer Oliveira/Gerard Schwarz (Artek) ***
    104. Arthur Grumiaux/Sir Colin Davis (Philips) ***
    105. Mincho Minchev/Vasil Stefanov (Vivace, Balkanton BCA) ***
    106. Thomas Zehetmair (Avie) ***
    107. Ilya Kaler/Pietari Inkinen (Naxos) ***
    108. Johanna Martzy/Günter Wand (Hänssler) ***
    109. Henryk Szeryng/Carl Schuricht (Ina) ***
    110. Gidon Kremer/Herbert von Karajan (EMI) ***
    111. Berl Senofsky/Rudolf Moralt (Forgotten Records, Historic Records) ***
    112. Nathan Milstein/Eugen Jochum (DG, Belart) ***
    113. Zino Francescatti/Leonard Bernstein (Sony) ***
    114. Henryk Szeryng/Erich Leinsdorf (Praga) ***
    115. Philippe Hirschhorn/Jiri Starek (Doremi) ***
    116. Uto Ughi/Wolfgang Sawallisch (RCA) ***
    117. Zino Francescatti/Erich Leinsdorf (Music & Arts) ***
    118. Takako Nishizaki/Stephen Gunzenhauser (Naxos) ***
    119. Leonid Kogan/Pavel Kogan (Yedang) ***
    120. Maxim Vengerov/Daniel Barenboim (Teldec) ***
    121. Zino Francescatti/Ernest Bour (Hänssler) ***
    122. Henryk Szeryng/Bernard Haitink (Philips) ***
    123. Siegfried Borries/Max Fiedler (Music & Arts) ***
    124. Endre Wolf/Anthony Collins (World Record Club) ***
    125. Leonidas Kavakos/Riccardo Chailly (Decca) **1/2
    126. Julian Rachlin/Mariss Jansons (Warner) **1/2
    127. Sarah Chang/Kurt Masur (EMI) **1/2
    128. Lisa Batiashvili/Christian Thieleman (DG) **1/2
    129. Antje Weithaas (CAvi-Music) **1/2
    130. David Nadien/Vilem Sokol (Cambal d’amour) **1/2
    131. Thomas Zehetmair/Christoph von Dohnányi (Teldec) **1/2
    132. Aaron Rosand (Vox) **1/2
    133. Pinchas Zukerman/Zubin Mehta (RCA) **1/2
    134. Eduard Grach/Kirill Kondrashin (Russian Compact Disc) **1/2
    135. Susanne Lautenbacher/Robert Wagner (Vox, Family Library of Great Music) **1/2
    136. Viktor Tretyakov/Yuri Temirkanov (Brilliant Classics) **1/2
    137. Viktor Tretyakov/Vladimir Fedoseyev (Revelation, Olympia) **1/2
    138. Alexei Bruni/Ilmar Lapinsch (EMG) **1/2
    139. Joseph Swensen (Linn) **1/2
    140. Vladimir Spikakov/Yuri Temirkanov (RCA) **1/2
    141. Renaud Capuçon/Daniel Harding (Erato) **1/2
    142. Kyung Wha Chung/Simon Rattle (EMI) **1/2
    143. Itzhak Perlman/Daniel Barenboim (EMI) **1/2
    144. Raphaël Oleg/Libor Pešek (Denon) **1/2
    145. Jacques Thibaud/Jean Fournet (Philips) **1/2
    146. Rachel Barton Pine/Carlos Kalmar (Cedille) **1/2
    147. Frank Peter Zimmermann/Wolfgang Sawallisch (EMI) **1/2
    148. Frank Peter Zimmermann/Alan Gilbert (New York Philharmonic) **1/2
    149. Bohuslav Matoušek/Vladimir Válek (Stradivari) **1/2
    150. Dmitry Sitkovetsky/Sir Neville Marriner (Hänssler) **1/2
    151. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg/Edo de Waart (EMI) **1/2
    152. Borika van den Booren/Eduardo Marturet (Brilliant) **1/2
    153. Nikolaj Znaider/Valery Gergiev (RCA) **1/2
    154. Benjamin Schmid/Cristian Mandeal (Oehms) **
    155. Andrés Cárdenes/Ian Hobson (Artek) **
    156. Takayoshi Wanami/Adrian Leaper (IMP) **
    157. Ivan Czerkov/Helmut Bucher (Denon) **
    158. Christian Tetzlaff/Thomas Dausgaard (Virgin) **
    159. Katrin Scholz/Michael Sanderling (Berlin Classics) **
    160. Isabelle Faust/Daniel Harding (Harmonia Mundi) **
    161. Evgueni Bushkov/Alexander Rahbari (Discover) **
    162. Nigel Kennedy/Klaus Tennstedt (EMI) **
    163. Joseph Szigeti/Herbert Menges (Philips, Mercury) **
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Jan-23-2019 at 15:28.

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    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    Unbelievable list! The Brahms VC was the first major classical work I listen to as a young child: Szigeti on 78s -don’t know which conductor, maybe Ormandy.. I tried to find something comparable on LP, since I loved Szigeti's interpretation, with the help of my father at the time. In those days, you could bring the record back in the first day or two for any reason.

    Hmm, just noticed that the one I finally picked on LP was the Berl Senofsky. I had forgotten the name.

    Never been a fan of Heifetz for the Brahms or Beethoven. Great technically, but IMO, emotionless.
    Last edited by DaveM; Jan-23-2019 at 09:05.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    The above list certainly contains more than I could listen to in a lifetime! I do like this work when it is played as Brahms intended . The recordings I have and can remember:

    Heifetz / Reiner - fabulous
    Heifetz / Koussavitsky - also fabulous but limited recording quality in orchestra
    Oistrakh / Klemperer - also fabulous in a different way
    Kennedy / Tennstedt - not without interest but the first movement is too slow.
    Stern / Ormandy - very good and coupled with a great version of Double Concerto

    It is worth pointing out that Brahms marked his first movement Allegro non troppo and players who seek to play too slowly out of some misplaced reverence can make it seem dull. I do believe that forward momentum is very important in Brahms else the music sticks
    Last edited by DavidA; Jan-23-2019 at 08:10.

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    Until the 20th Century it was probably the greatest violin concerto (much as I like the Beethoven). It is a very great work that is powerful musically while also offering the soloist a truly heroic role. One more the lists of recommended recordings seem bizarre to me. Yes, I enjoy the various Oistrakh recordings and I do also like the Heifetz, Zimbalist, Stern and Milstein recordings. But this is a concerto in which Kremer shone (in three recordings) and Isabelle Faust's recording is also a great one. And Shaham's is perhaps his greatest record. These are all perhaps a bit less showy than many but that's the way I like Brahms. I also don't object to Kennedy's recording: it is slow but he makes it work, IMO.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Jan-23-2019 at 14:07.

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    Senior Member shadowdancer's Avatar
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    About the composition: One of the best violin concerti of all time in my opinion.

    About recording: Heifetz & Reiner is enough for me. Of course, based on a much shorter list than the one presented by Brahmsianhorn.

    Cheers
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
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    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    Condensed Listing:
    1. Heifetz, Reiner (cond.), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1955)
    2. Oistrakh, Klemperer (cond.), French National Radio Orchestra (1958)
    3. Oistrakh, Szell (cond.), Cleveland Orchestra (1969)
    4. Szeryng, Monteux (cond.), London Symphony Orchestra (1958)
    5. Neveu, Dobrowen (cond.), Philharmonia Orchestra (1946)
    6. Oistrakh, Konwitschny (cond.), Staatskapelle Dresden (1954)
    7. Hahn, Marriner (cond.), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (2000)
    8. Milstein, Steinberg (cond.), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1954)
    9. Szigeti, Harty (cond.), Hallé Orchestra (1928)
    10. Mutter, Karajan (cond.), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1981)
    I made a list once of recordings that seem to be the most acclaimed (so not my opinion). Very closely resembles Trout's list:

    David Oistrakh/Otto Klemperer (EMI)
    Jascha Heifetz /Fritz Reiner (RCA)
    David Oistrakh/George Szell (EMI)
    Henryk Szeryng/Pierre Monteux (RCA, JVC)
    Nathan Milstein/Anatole Fistoulari (EMI, Praga)
    David Oistrakh/Franz Konwitschny (DG, Profil, Ds Classics)
    Nathan Milstein/William Steinberg (EMI)
    Arthur Grumiaux/Eduard van Beinum (Philips, Regis)
    Itzhak Perlman/Carlo Maria Giulini (EMI)
    Anne-Sophie Mutter/Herbert von Karajan (DG)
    Ginette Neveu/Issay Dobrowen (Dutton, EMI)

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    Senior Member Tchaikov6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Oh boy, how long do you guys have? This is my favorite work. I have 163 recordings of it.
    Oh, gosh... I have one recording of this piece! It is Hilary Hahn with Neville Marriner, which I enjoy immensely.
    Last edited by Tchaikov6; Jan-23-2019 at 20:35.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Oh boy, how long do you guys have? This is my favorite work. I have 163 recordings of it. Yes you read that correctly. Just over half of these are on CD and the rest downloaded. Yeah, I'm pretty nuts for the piece. It all started 26 years ago when I had a front row seat to hear Joshua Bell, and I was hooked. It is the dark, searching quality of the first movement that most gets me.

    As far as recordings go, let me start by saying I am NOT a big fan of the famous Heifetz/Reiner version. I remember reading the reviews in the mid-90s and excitedly purchasing it, only to be sorely disappointed. Heifetz and Reiner toss it off as a showpiece, which it is not. I must hear struggle and heart to like a Brahms VC recording. Ironically enough, Heifetz's earlier account with Koussevitzky is one of my absolute favorites. In that recording I hear true poetry.

    Admittedly biased as I am, I do not think there is another piece in all of the classical music repertoire that has been as lucky on disc as this one. I believe it is THE work to demonstrate your chops as a violinist, even more than the Beethoven. And sure enough, there are literally dozens of GREAT readings from every violinist imaginable.

    It is hard to round down, but I would have to say the following are the most essential renditions for everyone to hear once:

    Bronislaw Huberman/Artur Rodzinski (Pristine, Music & Arts)
    Fritz Kreisler/Leo Blech (Naxos, Music & Arts, Biddulph, Pearl)
    Jascha Heifetz/Serge Koussevitzky (RCA, Naxos, IDIS)
    Joseph Szigeti/Sir Hamilton Harty (EMI, Naxos)
    Adolf Busch/Hans Münch (Guild, Music & Arts, Arbiter)
    Ginette Neveu/Roger Desormière (Tahra, SWR)
    Efrem Zimbalist/Serge Koussevitzky (Doremi, Pristine)
    Georg Kulenkampff/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Dutton, Pearl)
    Christian Ferras/Rudolf Kempe (Archipel)
    Erica Morini/George Szell (Music & Arts)
    Itzhak Perlman/Carlo Maria Giulini (EMI)
    David Oistrakh/George Szell (EMI)
    Johanna Martzy/Paul Kletzki (Testament)
    Herman Krebbers/Bernard Haitink (Philips)
    Nathan Milstein/Anatole Fistoulari (Praga, EMI)
    Anne-Sophie Mutter/Kurt Masur (DG)

    You might say Huberman, Kreisler, Heifetz, and Szigeti form a sort of Mt Rushmore, each with something different to say. But it doesn't stop with them, as all lovers of this concerto must hear Busch, Neveu, Zimbalist, Kulenkampff, Ferras, Morini, and Martzy. And then for modern stereo, with all apologies to Szeryng and Grumiaux fans, I must give pride of place to Perlman, Oistrakh, Krebbers, Milstein, and Mutter.

    But of course I am nuts for this work, so I have ranked all 163 recordings in my collection, giving five stars to the most esteemed versions.

    Here is the full list. Happy listening!

    1. Bronislaw Huberman/Artur Rodzinski (Pristine, Music & Arts) *****
    2. Fritz Kreisler/Leo Blech (Naxos, Music & Arts, Biddulph, Pearl) *****
    3. Fritz Kreisler/John Barbirolli (Naxos, Biddulph, Opus Kura, Classica d’Oro, Strings) *****
    4. Jascha Heifetz/Serge Koussevitzky (RCA, Naxos, IDIS) *****
    5. Ginette Neveu/Roger Desormière (Tahra, SWR) *****
    6. Joseph Szigeti/Sir Hamilton Harty (EMI, Naxos) *****
    7. Adolf Busch/Hans Münch (Guild, Music & Arts, Arbiter) *****
    8. Efrem Zimbalist/Serge Koussevitzky (Doremi, Pristine) *****
    9. Ginette Neveu/Issay Dobrowen (Dutton, EMI) *****
    10. Georg Kulenkampff/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Dutton, Pearl) *****
    11. Jascha Heifetz/Arturo Toscanini (Doremi, IDIS) *****
    12. Christian Ferras/Rudolf Kempe (Archipel) *****
    13. Erica Morini/George Szell (Music & Arts) *****
    14. Erica Morini/Bruno Walter (Tahra, Archipel, Nuova Era) *****
    15. Adolf Busch/William Steinberg (Music & Arts) *****
    16. David Oistrakh/Kirill Kondrashin (1963 rec.) (BBC) *****
    17. David Oistrakh/Otmar Nussio (Aura) *****
    18. Itzhak Perlman/Carlo Maria Giulini (EMI) *****
    19. David Oistrakh/George Szell (EMI) *****
    20. Johanna Martzy/Paul Kletzki (Testament) *****
    21. Herman Krebbers/Bernard Haitink (Philips) ****1/2
    22. Jascha Heifetz/George Szell (Prelude) ****1/2
    23. Gioconda de Vito/Paul van Kempen (Naxos, Arkadia) ****1/2
    24. Yehudi Menuhin/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Tahra, Naxos, EMI) ****1/2
    25. Nathan Milstein/Paul Kletzki (Claves) ****1/2
    26. David Oistrakh/Charles Bruck (INA) ****1/2
    27. David Oistrakh/Sir Malcolm Sargent (BBC) ****1/2
    28. Leonid Kogan/Kirill Kondrashin (1967 rec.) (Melodiya LP) ****1/2
    29. Leonid Kogan/Karl Eliasberg (Monopole, Arlecchino, Music Online) ****1/2
    30. Ginette Neveu/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (Tahra, Scribendum, Acanta) ****1/2
    31. Ginette Neveu/Antal Doráti (Music & Arts) ****1/2
    32. Nathan Milstein/Anatole Fistoulari (Praga, EMI) ****1/2
    33. Christian Ferras/Carl Schuricht (Testament) ****1/2
    34. Erica Morini/Artur Rodzinski (DG, Westminster, Millennium) ****1/2
    35. David Oistrakh/Kirill Kondrashin (1952 rec.) (Melodiya, Omega, Urania, Moscow Studio) ****1/2
    36. Anne-Sophie Mutter/Kurt Masur (DG) ****
    37. David Oistrakh/Hermann Abendroth (Tahra, Scribendum) ****
    38. David Oistrakh/Franz Konwitschny (DG, Profil, Ds Classics) ****
    39. Nathan Milstein/Pierre Monteux (Tahra, Arioso, Music & Arts, Audiophile) ****
    40. David Oistrakh/Antonio Pedrotti (Supraphon, Multisonic) ****
    41. David Oistrakh/Fritz Rieger (Archipel) ****
    42. Nathan Milstein/William Steinberg (EMI) ****
    43. Nathan Milstein/Victor de Sabata (Tahra, Archipel, Nuova Era, Arkadia) ****
    44. Herman Krebbers/Hein Jordans (Philips, Fontana LP) ****
    45. David Oistrakh/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1966 rec.) (EMG, Leningrad Masters, Icone) ****
    46. Gioconda de Vito/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Tahra, Idis, Urania, Music & Arts) ****
    47. Leonid Kogan/Kirill Kondrashin (1959 rec.) (EMI, Guild) ****
    48. Leonid Kogan/Pierre Monteux (Doremi, Melodiya) ****
    49. Yehudi Menuhin/Sir Adrian Boult (BBC) ****
    50. Leonid Kogan/Charles Bruck (Testament) ****
    51. Janine Jansen/Antonio Pappano (Decca) ****
    52. Henryk Szeryng/Pierre Monteux (RCA, JVC) ****
    53. Gioconda de Vito/Eugen Jochum (Tahra) ****
    54. Gioconda de Vito/Rudolf Schwarz (Archipel, Amare) ****
    55. Xue-Wei/Ivor Bolton (ASV) ****
    56. Ida Haendel/Sergiu Celibidache (Testament) ****
    57. Isaac Stern/Sir Thomas Beecham (Sony) ****
    58. Yehudi Menuhin/Rudolf Kempe (EMI) ****
    59. Arthur Grumiaux/Eduard van Beinum (Philips, Regis) ****
    60. David Oistrakh/Otto Klemperer (EMI) ***1/2
    61. Joseph Szigeti/Dmitri Mitropoulos (Music & Arts, Legend, Enterprise) ***1/2
    62. Jascha Heifetz /Fritz Reiner (RCA) ***1/2
    63. Nathan Milstein/Herbert von Karajan (Tahra) ***1/2
    64. David Oistrakh/Witold Rowicki (CD Accord) ***1/2
    65. Gioconda de Vito/Ferenc Fricsay (Audite) ***1/2
    66. Yehudi Menuhin/George Schneevoigt (Doremi) ***1/2
    67. Michael Rabin/Rafael Kubelik (Doremi) ***1/2
    68. Michael Rabin/Zoltan Rozsnyai (Testament) ***1/2
    69. Zino Francescatti/Eugene Ormandy (Biddulph, Naxos) ***1/2
    70. Joseph Szigeti/Eugene Ormandy (Sony) ***1/2
    71. Vadim Repin/Riccardo Chailly (DG) ***1/2
    72. Joshua Bell/Christoph von Dohnányi (Decca) ***1/2
    73. Henryk Szeryng/Antal Doráti (Mercury) ***1/2
    74. Henryk Szeryng/Rafael Kubelik (Orfeo) ***1/2
    75. Christian Ferras/Herbert von Karajan (DG) ***1/2
    76. Leonid Kogan/Vasil Stefanov (BNR) ***1/2
    77. Pinchas Zukerman/Daniel Barenboim (DG) ***1/2
    78. Albert Spalding/Wilhelm Loibner (Indie, Pearl) ***1/2
    79. Christian Ferras/Charles Bruck (Ina) ***1/2
    80. Wolfgang Schneiderhan/Karl Böhm (Urania, Opus Kura) ***1/2
    81. David Garrett/Zubin Mehta (Decca) ***1/2
    82. Anne-Sophie Mutter/Herbert von Karajan (DG) ***1/2
    83. Arthur Grumiaux/Ernest Ansermet (Andromeda) ***1/2
    84. Nathan Milstein/István Kertész (Music & Arts) ***1/2
    85. Ossy Renardy/Charles Munch (Dutton, Pristine, Dante, Biddulph) ***1/2
    86. Hideko Udagawa/Sir Charles Mackerras (Chandos, Nimbus) ***1/2
    87. Viktoria Mullova/Claudio Abbado (Philips) ***1/2
    88. Herman Krebbers/Willem Mengelberg (Music & Arts) ***1/2
    89. Julia Fischer/Yakov Kreizberg (Pentatone) ***1/2
    90. Tasmin Little/Vernon Handley (EMI) ***1/2
    91. Boris Belkin/Iván Fischer (Decca) ***1/2
    92. Shlomo Mintz/Claudio Abbado (DG) ***1/2
    93. Ulf Hoelscher/Klaus Tennstedt (EMI) ***1/2
    94. Wolfgang Schneiderhan/Paul van Kempen (DG) ***
    95. Gidon Kremer/Leonard Bernstein (DG) ***
    96. Isaac Stern/Eugene Ormandy (Sony) ***
    97. Berl Senofsky/Sir John Barbirolli (West Hill Radio Archives) ***
    98. Hilary Hahn/Sir Neville Marriner (Sony) ***
    99. Gil Shaham/Claudio Abbado (DG) ***
    100. Hans Klepper/Alfred Scholz (Quintessence) ***
    101. Zino Francescatti/Dmitri Mitropoulos (Orfeo, Intaglio, Andromeda) ***
    102. Ricardo Odnoposoff/Carl Bamberger (Doremi) ***
    103. Elmer Oliveira/Gerard Schwarz (Artek) ***
    104. Arthur Grumiaux/Sir Colin Davis (Philips) ***
    105. Mincho Minchev/Vasil Stefanov (Vivace, Balkanton BCA) ***
    106. Thomas Zehetmair (Avie) ***
    107. Ilya Kaler/Pietari Inkinen (Naxos) ***
    108. Johanna Martzy/Günter Wand (Hänssler) ***
    109. Henryk Szeryng/Carl Schuricht (Ina) ***
    110. Gidon Kremer/Herbert von Karajan (EMI) ***
    111. Berl Senofsky/Rudolf Moralt (Forgotten Records, Historic Records) ***
    112. Nathan Milstein/Eugen Jochum (DG, Belart) ***
    113. Zino Francescatti/Leonard Bernstein (Sony) ***
    114. Henryk Szeryng/Erich Leinsdorf (Praga) ***
    115. Philippe Hirschhorn/Jiri Starek (Doremi) ***
    116. Uto Ughi/Wolfgang Sawallisch (RCA) ***
    117. Zino Francescatti/Erich Leinsdorf (Music & Arts) ***
    118. Takako Nishizaki/Stephen Gunzenhauser (Naxos) ***
    119. Leonid Kogan/Pavel Kogan (Yedang) ***
    120. Maxim Vengerov/Daniel Barenboim (Teldec) ***
    121. Zino Francescatti/Ernest Bour (Hänssler) ***
    122. Henryk Szeryng/Bernard Haitink (Philips) ***
    123. Siegfried Borries/Max Fiedler (Music & Arts) ***
    124. Endre Wolf/Anthony Collins (World Record Club) ***
    125. Leonidas Kavakos/Riccardo Chailly (Decca) **1/2
    126. Julian Rachlin/Mariss Jansons (Warner) **1/2
    127. Sarah Chang/Kurt Masur (EMI) **1/2
    128. Lisa Batiashvili/Christian Thieleman (DG) **1/2
    129. Antje Weithaas (CAvi-Music) **1/2
    130. David Nadien/Vilem Sokol (Cambal d’amour) **1/2
    131. Thomas Zehetmair/Christoph von Dohnányi (Teldec) **1/2
    132. Aaron Rosand (Vox) **1/2
    133. Pinchas Zukerman/Zubin Mehta (RCA) **1/2
    134. Eduard Grach/Kirill Kondrashin (Russian Compact Disc) **1/2
    135. Susanne Lautenbacher/Robert Wagner (Vox, Family Library of Great Music) **1/2
    136. Viktor Tretyakov/Yuri Temirkanov (Brilliant Classics) **1/2
    137. Viktor Tretyakov/Vladimir Fedoseyev (Revelation, Olympia) **1/2
    138. Alexei Bruni/Ilmar Lapinsch (EMG) **1/2
    139. Joseph Swensen (Linn) **1/2
    140. Vladimir Spikakov/Yuri Temirkanov (RCA) **1/2
    141. Renaud Capuçon/Daniel Harding (Erato) **1/2
    142. Kyung Wha Chung/Simon Rattle (EMI) **1/2
    143. Itzhak Perlman/Daniel Barenboim (EMI) **1/2
    144. Raphaël Oleg/Libor Pešek (Denon) **1/2
    145. Jacques Thibaud/Jean Fournet (Philips) **1/2
    146. Rachel Barton Pine/Carlos Kalmar (Cedille) **1/2
    147. Frank Peter Zimmermann/Wolfgang Sawallisch (EMI) **1/2
    148. Frank Peter Zimmermann/Alan Gilbert (New York Philharmonic) **1/2
    149. Bohuslav Matoušek/Vladimir Válek (Stradivari) **1/2
    150. Dmitry Sitkovetsky/Sir Neville Marriner (Hänssler) **1/2
    151. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg/Edo de Waart (EMI) **1/2
    152. Borika van den Booren/Eduardo Marturet (Brilliant) **1/2
    153. Nikolaj Znaider/Valery Gergiev (RCA) **1/2
    154. Benjamin Schmid/Cristian Mandeal (Oehms) **
    155. Andrés Cárdenes/Ian Hobson (Artek) **
    156. Takayoshi Wanami/Adrian Leaper (IMP) **
    157. Ivan Czerkov/Helmut Bucher (Denon) **
    158. Christian Tetzlaff/Thomas Dausgaard (Virgin) **
    159. Katrin Scholz/Michael Sanderling (Berlin Classics) **
    160. Isabelle Faust/Daniel Harding (Harmonia Mundi) **
    161. Evgueni Bushkov/Alexander Rahbari (Discover) **
    162. Nigel Kennedy/Klaus Tennstedt (EMI) **
    163. Joseph Szigeti/Herbert Menges (Philips, Mercury) **
    And you lot say I'm obsessive with my Beethoven Symphony cycles? Hahaha. That's some list!

  14. #11
    Senior Member Pyotr's Avatar
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    Henryk Szeryng / Monteux / London Symphony

  15. #12
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    #58 is my favorite. I really enjoy the Kreisler cadenza which is the best one for this piece, IMO.

    Dan

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  17. #13
    Senior Member realdealblues's Avatar
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    The Brahms Violin Concerto is definitely a great work that I love hearing and have no reservations about. Why do I love? Why does anyone love anything? Just wonderfully written and resonates inside.

    Lots of great recordings of this one. Some favorites of mine from the top of my head...

    Joseph Szigeti/Hamilton Harty/Halle Orchestra
    Fritz Kreisler/John Barbirolli/London Symphony Orchestra
    Nathan Milstein/William Steinberg/Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra
    Jascha Heifetz/Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Arthur Grumiaux/Eduard Van Beinum/Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Henryk Szeryng/Pierre Monteux/London Symphony Orchestra
    Henryk Szeryng/Antal Dorati/London Symphony Orchestra
    David Oistrakh/Otto Klemperer/French National Radio Orchestra
    Nathan Milstein/Anatole Fistoulari/London Philharmonia Orchestra
    David Oistrakh/George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra
    Itzhak Perlman/Carlo Maria Giulini/Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Issac Stern/Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra
    Nathan Milstein/Eugen Jochum/Vienna Philharmonic
    Henryk Szeryng/Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Anne-Sophie Mutter/Herbert Von Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic
    Thomas Zehetmair/Christoph von Dohnanyi/Cleveland Orchestra
    Gil Shaham/Claudio Abbado/Berlin Philharmonic
    Hilary Hahn/Neville Marriner/Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields
    Leonidas Kavakos/Riccardo Chailly/Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Rachel Barton/Carlos Kalmar/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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  19. #14
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Ginette Neveu/Issay Dobrowen (Dutton, EMI) *****
    This one, also a favorite of mine, is also available on Opus Kura; if you don't mind surface noise, I think that this is the best transfer of this recording.

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  21. #15
    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Mutter with Kurt Masur and the New York P.O. is my favorite:

    MutterBrahmsMasur.jpg

    Jansen with Pappano is good too:

    BrahmsPappano.jpg
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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