Russian Violin Concertos (Julia Fischer)

Khachaturian: Violin Concerto in D minor
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Op. 19
Glazunov: Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82
Julia Fischer, violin
Yakov Kreizberg, conductor
Pentatone
Purchase via RNO Pentatone Music iTunes

Awards

2005 Echo Klassik Award, Concerto Record of the Year

Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine (January 2005)


Reviews

Gramophone

The freshness of [Julia Fischer's] way with the Khachaturian, recorded last May in Moscow, is immediately striking in the chattering figuration of the opening, and she brings a rare tenderness to the lyrical second subject. The orchestral sound is impressive, too... In the Glazunov, too, it is the clarity and subtlety of Fischer’s playing that marks her reading out. She finds the tenderness of the slow middle section of this one-movement work, and gives an easy swing to the bouncy rhythms of the final section. In the Prokofiev, she takes a meditative view of the wistful melodies, the element, she says, that most attracts her. A unique coupling, superbly recorded, that could hardly be more recommendable.

International Record Review

Julia Fischer stands out. What's most impressive on this disc is [Julia Fischer's] revitalization of the Khatchaturian Violin Concerto... Fischer makes it sound fresh again. In part, the bloom results from her burnished tone (sensuous but firmly focused) and her confident technique (note the rhythmic definition of her opening gestures); simply as virtuoso display, this is a charismatic performance. But there's a lot more than surface appeal. Because of her unwavering concentration, she manages...to make each detail, each swing in mood, register clearly, and because of her unflagging sense of shape, she makes sure that each element contributes to a lucid unfolding of the overall structure.... a nobility unmatched by any other recording I know...urgently recommended.

Fanfare

Nothing seems too difficult for [Fischer], with the finale of the [Khachaturian] concerto taking full notice of the vivace in the allegro vivace marking.... Fischer’s Prokofiev First is an athletic romp, rather like a 20th-century updating of Paganini. She mined the faster sections of the work for all the joyously wild lyricism they hold. [The Glazunov] showed off the strength and sweetness in her tone. ...She was ably partnered by Yakov Kreizberg, who led the Russian National Orchestra with splendid energy and an attention to detail.

SA-CD.net

This has to be one of my favourite violin concerto discs - stuffed full of beautiful but highly contrasted music, presented with great panache and sensitivity from a young violinist, orchestra & conductor in wonderfully well balanced MCH sound. Right from the opening, Kriezburg and the RNO (a fabulous ensemble since inception) provide a vivid and colourful introduction to allow Julia Fischer to come and dance away with the main theme.... The playing bursts in and gleefully skips along which makes for a quite invigorating experience - I had to restrain my hand from pressing "repeat" on the remote control such is the pleasure that I experienced....Throughout, Kreizburg and the RNO appear to be of identical mind as Fischer and the RNO leaves me in no doubt of their stunning but selfless virtuosity.... A real joy - don't hesitate, I find it really hard to imagine this disc being bettered for a long time to come.

The Absolute Sound

...the most soulful reading of the (usually neglected) Khachaturian on record. [In] the Prokofiev First Violin Concerto, Fischer and the engineers reveal the piece's inner workings... a model recording and indispensable.

Le Monde de la Musique

For her first disc, the young German prodigy Julia Fischer chose a repertoire that suits her perfectly. In the Khachaturian concerto, she combines impetuosity and reflection as much as this romantic, exotic work allows. Her direction of the melody is always within the limits of the best taste... Very different and imaginative in the details [is] the First Concerto of Prokofiev... dazzling. The orchestra is very remarkable.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Fischer offers scintillating readings of the Khachaturian, Prokofiev's great Violin Concerto No. 1 and Glazunov's... Violin Concerto. Besides being smart and accomplished, the violinist enjoys an astonishing ease of expression that recalls young Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham. In some ways, Fischer surpasses them with buoyant, lyrical sensibility behind her technique.

Gramophone

A very generously filled CD with three appealing Russian violin concertos played by this month's 'One to watch', Julia Fischer. [The RNO] under Yakov Kreizberg accompany superbly and if, as the booklet implies, this CD was made in two days then the concentration level must have been immense!

The Times (London)

Since January is a good time to celebrate new life, I'd like to give a warm if belated welcome to Julia Fischer's debut disc on PentaTone Classics of Russian violin concertos (5186 059). Barely 21, this German talent delivers Khachaturian, Glazunov and Prokofiev No 1 with a lyrical fervour and unwavering confidence that deserves to win her many new fans; she's already far beyond promising, well into full achievement. With this repertoire, no pale loitering by musicians is allowed; happily, Yakov Kreizberg and the Russian National Orchestra make ideal, full-blooded partners. If this CD doesn't banish winter chills, frankly, nothing will.

The Bulletin - Belgium

[Fischer] displays exceptional technique, with spot-on intonation and secure bowing. Neither is she lacking in imagination, subtly shading her tone and using a wide range of vibrato.... Conductor Yakov Kreizberg and the Russian National Orchestra accompany to the manner born.

Bayern 4 Klassik

In the Khatchaturian Violin Concerto, the large but extremely graceful solo part does not owe its attraction alone to the virtuoso gesture, but also to the intensive dialogue between soloist and orchestra. And this dialogue unfolds excellently between Julia Fischer, Yakov Kreizberg and the exceptional Russian National Orchestra.... A remarkable debut CD.

The Telegraph

The young and prodigiously gifted German violinist Julia Fischer makes her recording debut with this terrific disc of three Russian violin concertos... The Khachaturian, in which the world of Spartacus and the Sabre Dance never seems all that far away, is an irrepressibly exuberant piece, to which Fischer and the Russian National Orchestra under the dynamic baton of Yakov Kreizberg bring vibrant colour and buoyant rhythms. The Glazunov, inexplicably neglected these days, is one of his most winning works, innocent of the saccharine pallor that could sometimes afflict his music and here given with a flair that highlights its tender melodic lines and vitality. Neither concerto is shamed by being in the company of Prokofiev's more widely performed First Concerto, given in a performance that blends subtlety of colouring, haunting atmosphere and virtuoso flourish.

Ramifications - Bruxelles

The premiere recording for this young German violinist (born in 1983) affirms a temperament of fire equipped with dazzling vitality. [Julia Fischer] fulfilled a dream by playing these works with her orchestra of choice: the Russian National... Ease, maturity and temperament spring forth from the first passages of the Khachaturian, with a vision clear, concise and enthralling, built with a logical projection that is never diverted. Prokofiev's first violin concerto is performed with lyricism and imagination.... Finally, [in the Glazunov] Julia Fischer affirms with ease its temperament and richness of color balances in perfect symbiosis with the orchestra led by Yakov Kreizberg. The festive and bucolic third movement concludes an ambitious and auspicious recording, leaving us to impatiently await the next one.

Audiophile Audition

I don't believe I have heard a better performance of [the Khachaturian concerto], and with the hi-res surround sonics we have here a sure winner. The Prokofiev and Glazunov concertos prove excellent companions and also receive sparkling performances... You couldn't go wrong with this one.

The Scotsman

...these are crisp, bright, agile performances... Fischer has the solid and sympathetic backing of the Russian National Orchestra under Yakov Kreizberg. [The] ambience is natural and full of life.

What They’re Saying

"Classical music [has the] singular power to transform, unite and liberate. There is perhaps no orchestra in the world that personifies those ideals like the RNO."

Palm Beach Illustrated