November 2014

What are your favorite YouTube violin recordings? (video)

November 25, 2014 17:01

I am not a professional musician. My first exposure to the violin was by taking up the instrument while my daughter was studying the violin using the Suzuki method.

As a student and someone with new exposure to the violin, I have to say: What a wonderful time it is to be a violinist and a fan of classical music!

More than at any other time in human history, we have access to great music performed by a variety of artists in venues around the world. With so much music at our fingertips, it begs the question: What are your favorite recordings?

Please use the comments to link to your own faves!

I'll start the conversation by posting a few of my own favorites for your listening (and viewing) pleasure:

Maxim Vengerov - Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

One of my favorite concertos. I have seen it performed live by Jushua Bell and some others but I am pretty sure that this version by Maxim Vengerov has spoiled me for other artistic interpretations.

Hilary Hahn, Partita No. 2 Gigue in D minor, Bach

This was Hahn's encore following her German debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. It was the first piece of music that made me weep with joy at seeing a young teenager perform with such poise and talent.

Nicola Benedetti - St. Saens, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso

There are versions of this out there by more accomplished violinists such as Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Perlman, Jansen, Joshua Bell and Maxim Vengerov, but Benedetti's version the one that made me fall in love with the piece.

Itzhak Perlman - Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 3

There are very few versions of this wonderful concerto that I do not enjoy (unlike Sibelius), but this version by Perlman is wonderful. Perlman's confidence and humility really shine through in this recording.

Joshua Bell - Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

This concerto is very well-suited to Bell's unique playing style and energy. Plus, what's not to like about the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields?

Hilary Hahn - Paganini Caprice 24

One commenter on Youtube called this the best 12 minutes of her life. 'Nuff said.

Yehudi Menuhin & David Oistrakh - Bach Double Violin Concerto in D minor BWV 1043

It's really a treat to see video of these two greats performing such a lovely piece of music.

Hilary Hahn - Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64

There are very few professional versions of this concerto that I don't adore, but for me Hahn edges out Heifetz as my fave.

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