American Record Guide
, February 2001
"Joseph Joachim completely transformed the art of violin playing. Before him, violinists generally played music of their own composition, written for the sole purpose of displaying their dazzling technique. Joachim found such pieces revolting and instead presented the great violin works of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and especially Brahms. Some regarded his playing as cold and unbending (qualities that are readily apparent in the 78 rpm recordings he made toward the end of his life), yet his influence persists to the present day.
Even in his original compositions for the violin - such as the 3rd Concerto reissued here at a bargain price - you can hear the patrician elegance that inevitably informed Joachim's playing. While there are frequent double stops, not to mention a host of other tricks from Paganini's arsenal, they are used with such restraint and elegance as to negate any hint of virtuosity for its won sake... The gentle wind scoring of the opening bars immediately calls Brahms to mind, though Joachim lacked his friend's gift for spinning long, seamless, unforgettable melodies. II mourns the untimely death of a friend's daughter with funereal rhythms, solemn brasses, and sad, Schumannesque themes."