Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & more...

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R E V I E W S of some of the recordings that make up this set:

It's always fascinating to go back to the early recordings of artists who are firmly ensconced in the classical music pantheon. Such is the case with this recording of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos made by Itzhak Perlman in the late 1960s.
The Tchaikovsky concerto was written for virtuoso violinist Leopold Auer who actually thought the work unplayable. The young Perlman brings passion and flash to the concerto; his playing is suitably poetic in its sentimental moments and fiery in its finale. Sibelius's concerto was written about the same time that he wrote his second symphony. Perlman grasps the concerto's romantic soul while standing up to its demanding modernist technical challenges. As an added bonus the recording includes Dvorák's Romance, a gentle idyll that displays Perlman's lovely legato playing. -- MUZE [review of RCA 63591]

This album continues the tribute to classic film music from John Williams and Itzhak Perlman's CINEMA SERENADE disc. It is an undeniably old-fashioned and romantic album, befitting the era the music is drawn from. On "As Time Goes By" from CASABLANCA, Perlman proves that he's still one of the world's premier concert violinists, playing the theme with palpable ache. Most of these compositions are by the classic film composers--Alfred Newman, Miklós Rózsa, Max Steiner--with one notable exception. William Walton's theme for HENRY V gets a suitably regal, yet restrained, treatment. Perlman sounds as if he's having a good time with the sprightly Irish motifs of "The Quiet Man." The orchestrations are rich and dramatic, and the recording quality is superb. This album is highly recommended to anyone who remembers when a soundtrack was more than just a bunch of flavor-of-the-month pop tunes. -- MUZE [review of SONY 60773]

Prokofiev's F minor Sonata—surely his greatest chamber work—opens bleakly, then flowers to harmonic richness before switching to a sharp-edged Allegro brusco, a deeply introspective Andante and a closing Allegrissimo that recalls (or anticipates, depending on its precise chronology in Prokofiev's thinking) the finale of the great Eighth Piano Sonata... Perlman's is an immensely assured, sweet-centred reading, delicate where needs be (the ''wind in a graveyard'' passages of the first movement, for example) and yet with a Heifetzian resilience that both sonatas willingly respond to... When it comes to the delightful Second Sonata—of rather less import, and a second-hand utterance (the original was for flute and piano)—Perlman and Ashkenazy play with astonishing virtuosity and here their visceral virtues win hands down, especially in the Scherzo... the playing has real class, the recording is clean and there's a substantial bonus in Perlman's accomplished 1966 version of the Second Violin Concerto, where Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony trace and characterize the score's every subtle detail—especially among the woodwind. That, for me, is the disc's most indelible interpretative feature. -- Gramophone [review of RCA 61454]

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 05, 2013

  • Catalog Number: 88765438882

  • UPC: 887654388827

  • Label: Sony Music Entertainment

  • Number of Discs: 9

  • Composer: Andrea Morricone, Antonín Dvořák, Antonio Bazzini, Antonio Vivaldi, Charles Chaplin, David Raksin, Edouard Lalo, Elmer Bernstein, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ernest Bloch, Ernest Chausson, Ernö von Dohnányi, George Frideric Handel, Herman Hupfeld, Jean Sibelius, Jean-Marie Leclair, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, John Barry, John Williams, Ludwig van Beethoven, Manuel de Falla, Maurice Ravel, Mauro Giuliani, Michel Legrand, Niccolò Paganini, Pablo de Sarasate, Paul Ben-Haim, Paul Hindemith, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Sir William Walton, Victor Young, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Conductor: André Previn, Erich Leinsdorf, John Williams, Zubin Mehta

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard String Quartet, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic

  • Performer: Daniel Barenboim, David Garvey, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, John Williams, Jorge Bolet, Lynn Harrell, Pinchas Zukerman, Vladimir Ashkenazy