Classical review: Brahms Violin Concerto

Classical review: Brahms Violin Concerto
CD cover: Brahms Violin Concerto, C. Schuman Romances by Lisa Batiashvili (violin) and Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann

Classical

BRAHMS VIOLIN CONCERTO, C. SCHUMANN ROMANCES

Lisa Batiashvili, Violin

Staatskapelle Dresden/ Christian Thielemann

Deutsche Grammophon 479 0086

The 19th-century Hungarian-born violinist Joseph Joachim is the common link among the works on this disc. The Violin Concerto In D Major by Johannes Brahms was written for and in consultation with Joachim, and most violinists play the virtuoso cadenza as if it were biblical truth.

Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili instead opts for the rarely performed cadenza by Max Reger. Like her playing, which is refined and musical in the utmost, it makes an elegant and almost anti-virtuoso contrast from the norm.

After the rambunctious Hungarian-flavoured Rondo that closes the concerto, the Three Romances Op. 22 by Clara Schumann (widow of Robert Schumann and close confidante of Brahms) are light and fluffy fillers. Pleasant, but not memorable, they bring the playing time to just over a parsimonious 47 minutes.

The final uniting thread of this release: Batiashvili plays on a 1715 Stradivarius that was once owned by Joachim himself. Its tone is sweet and light, which adds to the album's attraction.


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