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My Classical Notes, November 2010

Three compositions are performed by the Berlin Philharmonic and Russian violinist Vadim Repin on this DVD. Repin’s performance of Bruch’s violin concerto No. 1 is really beautiful, yet not one of my favorites. The Berlin Philharmonic also plays Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements and one of Beethoven’s greatest symphonies, the Seventh.

Simon Rattle’s direction of Beethoven’s seventh symphony is surely done at a fast pace, yet with complete dedication to the wonderful rhythms that Beethoven gave us in this piece. There is a glorious romp all the way to the finish yet the Berlin instrumentalists seem hardly out of breath at the end of it all.

I am becoming more and more a fan of Stravinsky these days. What inventive and creative music this is! And what an innovator the composer was at the time this music was written.

My Classical Notes, March 2010

This is one fine DVD, which features Mr Vadim Repin in a performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto. In addition, we also get a beautiful reading of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements.

Sir Simon Rattle has become one of my favorite conductors, because he’s able to draw such passion out of orchestras that he leads. He developed his former orchestra in Britain into a terrific organization, and his leadership of the Berlin Philharmonic shows equal signs of his excellence. Rattle brings a spontaneity to the Beethoven Seventh, which gives the music the kind of crispness and excitement that it needs. The players follow him, and their first major sound outburst makes for an inspiring release of energy and tension. The tempi for the succeeding movements are just right, and especially the Funeral movement gives the listener all the phrasing and sensitivity that he expects. In the end, Rattle builds up the pace toward a very satisfying conclusion.

Repin, performing in between the two symphonies, plays beautifully in the Bruch concerto. Repin’s capability as a sensitive violinist is clearly established, and the orchestral support is outstanding. Repin is also quite moving in the Adagio, and terrific in the closing Allegro moderato movement.

The Berlin Philharmonic also plays Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements which might seem as an unusual companion to the other two selections. While it may have been selected to fit the overall available time, it also accomplishes the opportunity to have us learn more about Stravinsky and his mastery. This work, as well, is beautifully performed by Sir Simon and the BPO’s players.

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4:03:01 PM, 29 August 2015
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