Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Ilya Gringolts & Neeme Järvi
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A Wonder to Behold
For most people there are songs in their life that seize their emotions and heartstrings from the very first note, drawing them into a dreamlike state where all they want to do is close their eyes and savor every line and chord. For me, this piece has always been the Sibelius Concerto. The recording by Jascha Heifetz is widely considered the landmark of this piece, but Ilya Gringolts' version has now taken Heifetz's place in my mind as the greatest recording of this piece. Ilya's style naturally evokes a haunting, chilling tone, a nocturnal atmosphere that while not suitable for romantic music, is flawless for this piece. There's a nightmarish beauty and succubus elegance to this recording that I've never heard before in this piece. Five stars well earned for Mr. Gringolts.
Falls far below expectations
Gringolts was the man who got the DG spot after Shaham was forced out. Hard feelings aside this is a rather pedantic and passionless recording. There are serious intonation problems and is plagued with minor technichal setbacks on the part of the soloist which could explain why the tempi are so lethargic. For comparison listen to Shaham's recording with Previn on the same label. It sounds like night and day to me and Shaham recorded it at a much younger age than Gringolts. I'd pass on this if I where you. I toyed with giving it one star but Jarvi is a great artists and did the best with what he had.