The Tchaikovsky Violin concerto is a well-known masterpiece I the violin literature. It was composed in 1878, and all the great violinists for the past 132 years have performed it.
The other day I listened to several older performances, even though I have favorites among those done by current violinists, such as Gil Shaham, Sara Chang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Hilary Hahn.
For me, this composition carries a lot of the composer’s emotion: There is hardly another slow concerto movement that can rival the second movement of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto for sadness or Pathos.
You be the judge: I am including here 3 videos by three great violinists; two of them are already deceased, the 3rd is very much with us and he is teaching and performing extensively. They are:
David Oistrakh, and
I have always found Heifetz to be the most amazing player, technically. On a musical basis, however, he seemed somewhat restricted. He took few risks/liberties with tempi; he was committed to perform more “by the book” and to be true to his view of the composer’s intent. My personal choice is David Oistrakh. For me, hid playing is warmer, more expressive, and more lush. The tempo Oistrakh takes in the Concerto is slightly slower, and in my view that allows for more range of feelings. And, after all, Oistrakh was a fellow Russian musician to Tchaikovsky, even if they lived in separate times. There’s no “right answer” here, folks; after all, it is one’s personal taste.
Feel free to write a brief comment at the bottom of this page, with your personal choice.
And finally, Perlman, as a young man: