A masterpiece often features one key characteristic: Great simplicity; my sense is that this is very true of the Concerto for violin and Orchestra in D-Major by Ludwig van Beethoven. The challenge in performing this piece is to find a way to highlight the great beauty of the melodic line, otherwise the listener may hear mostly scales, without gaining a deeper understanding of the work.
Heifetz knew how to bring out this beauty. His performance of the concerto, as accompanied by the Boston Symphony, is still a primary example of how it is done…
The performance by Vadim Repin on this CD is “nice” from beginning to end, yet – for me – it did not create an emotional experience. While all the notes were all there, I simply was not moved by this music. I did not discover something new… such as some inner voice I had not known before. As such, I was disappointed.
The accompanying Kreutzer Sonata with Marta Argerich at the piano was quite different: Here the music was tense, and the performance by both artists quite dazzling. I liked the balance between the two instruments, and the “Tema con Variazioni” was really great.
Here are the tracks on the two discs:
- 1. Violin Concerto in D, Op.61 – 1. Allegro ma non troppo
- 2. Violin Concerto in D, Op.61 – 2.Larghetto –
- 3. Violin Concerto in D, Op.61 – 3. Rondo (Allegro)
- 1. Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 in A, Op.47 – “Kreutzer” – 1. Adagio sostenuto – Presto
- 2. Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 in A, Op.47 – “Kreutzer” – 2. Andante con variazioni
- 3. Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 in A, Op.47 – “Kreutzer” – 3. Finale (Presto
Here is Mr. Repin performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra Saint Petersburg
Here’s a video of Vadim Repin, speaking about the Beethoven violin concerto
As a comparison, listen to violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin, and Seiji Ozawa, conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Beethoven concerto; Date: Dec. 12th 1989–Place:Suntory Hall (Tokyo)
Tags: Beethoven, violin concerto, Vadim Repin, Anne-Sophie Mutter