Favorite recordings of the following concertos?

November 22, 2008 at 05:40 PM ·

Which recording of the following concertos do you consider must have?

I have the Stern Brahms but I am looking for another one... maybe I just don't like Stern's interpretation.


Thanks for any help!!!!!

Replies (44)

November 22, 2008 at 06:26 PM ·

Hilary Hahn has the purest interpretation in my opinion. Her recording of the Elgar is quite nice.

November 22, 2008 at 08:57 PM ·

Hello, Michael

These are my favorite recordings:

Elgar - Hilary Hahn, Jascha Heifetz

Barber - Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham

Saint-Seans - Itzhak Perlman, Frank-Peter Zimmerman

Brahms - David Oistrakh, Gil Shaham, Vadim Gluzman

Tchaikovsky - Vadim Gluzman, Janine Jansen (her new recording is great), David Oistrakh

Beethoven - Anne-Sophie Mutter, Zino Francescatti, Wolfgang Schneiderhan (his cadenza is CRAZY)

I hope these help,

Gerome Stewart


November 22, 2008 at 09:02 PM ·

Where were you able to get Janine's Tchaikovsky album?! I've been waiting for it on itunes for months....

I loved watching the 6 part series on youtube about her recording!

November 22, 2008 at 09:53 PM ·

For me nothing beats David Oistrakh on the Tchaikovsky with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra!

November 22, 2008 at 10:25 PM ·

Here are my favorites.


  • Elgar-Itzhak Perlman (Nigel Kennedy has a wonderful recording too).
  • Barber-Gil Shaham, Perlman, Joshua Bell (My # 1)
  • Saint- Saens-Perlman, Gil Shaham (# 1), Joshua Bell(verrryyyyy interesting and unique, but convincing), Maxim Vengerov.  One to consider for the Saint Saens is also Dong Suk Kang's recording with Naxos.  Spectacular.
  • Brahms-Oistrakh, Bell (#1), Perlman
  • Tchaik-Oistrakh, Bell (His new recording is one of my favorites), Perlman, Gil Shaham (#1)
  • Beethoven-Hands down with Joshua Bell, but Vadim Repin has a wonderful recording.  Some other greats are Perlman's, Menuhin's, Oistrakhs, and Milsteins.



November 23, 2008 at 02:00 AM ·

  • Elgar  - Heifetz
  • Barber - Stern
  • Saint- Saens - Francescatti
  • Brahms - Menuhin / Grumiaux / Heifetz
  • Tchaik - Francescatti
  • Beethoven - Francescatti

November 23, 2008 at 04:54 AM ·

Elgar - Nigel Kennedy

Barber - Hilary Hahn

Saint-Saens - Grumiaux

Brahms - Oistrakh

Tchaikovsky - Rabin or Kogan

Beethoven - Grumiaux

November 23, 2008 at 03:04 PM ·

As usual, it looks like this question has produced at least one vote for every major interpretation.  Just go get some different ones and listen if you have a particular interest.

November 23, 2008 at 03:40 PM ·

well,I think

  • Elgar         -   H.Hahn
  • Barber      -   also H.Hahn
  • Saint- Saens- M.Vengerov
  • Brahms        -  H.Hahn,N.Milstein,B.Skride
  • Tchaik           - Baiba Skride(she won Quenn Elizabeth comp. in Brussels in2001 with this concerto) also D.Oistrakh
  • Beethoven   - H.Hahn,A.Grumiaux

November 23, 2008 at 03:45 PM ·

But I think that there's no greatest Brahms or Beethoven..

Every great violinist has something special and beautiful. :)

November 23, 2008 at 04:50 PM ·


I have my connections... :).

November 23, 2008 at 08:37 PM ·

I think one of the best recordings of Elgar is Menuhin with Elgar conducting.

November 24, 2008 at 02:06 PM ·

For the Elgar I like Zukerman/Slatkin/St. Louis.

November 25, 2008 at 01:30 AM ·

 i haven't really read through all these yet, but i will~





November 25, 2008 at 05:41 AM ·

Elgar: young Menuhin or "forever young" Kennedy...

Barber: Stern or Oliveira

St.-Saens (I suppose the 3rd)  Francescatti, Milstein and (being "modern") Amoyal, the first (ERATO) one.

Brahms: is a very complex piece of music, will be interpreted "correctly" when ALL Hamburg / Detmold / Vienna brothels have been searched for "source" material... As long as it doesn't happen I would say Ferras / Karajan or Oistrakh / Konwitschny

Ciakovskij: I've problems listening to repetitive, IMO "theory-teacher-written" music, so I would say & hope, the next Meadowmount "overpractiser" & future competition winner owns it...

Beethoven: Very difficult question, I prefer to remain silent...

And the "favorite recordingds of the Korngold / Conus / Goldmark concertos" thread would be  much easyer  to comment in...

November 25, 2008 at 06:01 PM ·


Barber-not sure


Brahms, Tchaik, and Beethoven-Bell


November 25, 2008 at 06:28 PM ·

Barber - I'm quite surprised that nobody has mentioned the Ehnes. It's winging its way here through the mail as we type, but I bet it's damned good. Best one I ever heard was by Robert Gerle (out-of-print, I think) who was involved in the world premier, IIRC.

I have posted the very best Brahms ever recorded for your convenience. :-)  Passion, grace, grandeur, articulation and architecture are of some of its attractions for me. This Phillips classic used to be out-of-print but now has finally been re-issued (Retrospective Recordings 039), Grumiaux with the Royal Concertgebuow. Don't buy the other, commonly available Grumiaux Brahms, it's pale by comparison. Links to each movement:






November 25, 2008 at 07:07 PM ·

Robert Gerle playing the Barber, on Youtube. Sorry, still photos only. Nice tone!

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCxc8r-g3BI

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA0SIPKN6V8

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyCCui6pDww  Wowee!

Is this recording any good? You tell me.



November 25, 2008 at 07:08 PM ·

Kind of pricey but my favorite recording of the 3 Saint-Saens concertos is on Hyperion with Graffin...worth the money.

November 26, 2008 at 02:31 AM ·

 itunes wants 9.99 for sophie ann-mutter's beethoven and it's only three tracks!


but i'm running out of space on my ipod and my collection of all the major concertos is on hold at least for now, but keep the opinions coming, please!



November 26, 2008 at 03:58 AM ·


ASMs Beethoven is -very- good ;)



November 26, 2008 at 09:16 AM ·

So many terrific recordings of all these pieces.  A few I think are pretty great which I don't think have been mentioned yet:

Barber:  Anne Akiko Meyers.  Out of print, but you can find it used on Amazon etc.

Beethoven:  two opposite approaches - Zukerman/Barenboim/Chicago Symphony, rather slow, very lyrical, miles & miles of beautiful sound -- and Tetzlaff/Zinman/Zurich, very light, quick and lively (also beautifully played).  Tetzlaff gets kind of mavericky with his cadenzas, which is fun.  (By the way, I've been wondering:  Is Mutter the only one who doesn't pizz. those two notes in the last movement?  I've never heard anyone else play them arco, but she does it on both her recordings)

Elgar:  Kyung Wha Chung if you can find it.

Tchaikovsky - Viktoria Mullova's debut recording is pretty incredible (comes with an equally incredible Sibelius).

Saint-Saens:  Liviu Prunaru's CD of all 3 concerti is pretty great.

Brahms:  Teenage Mutter was on fire when she recorded this.  Grownup Mutter has been tempered by the fire and become its master. 

November 26, 2008 at 03:55 PM ·

Bruce Bodden wrote:

"Barber:  Anne Akiko Meyers.  Out of print, but you can find it used on Amazon etc."

And you can watch it on You tube. I did, yesterday. Quite lively, it was!

November 26, 2008 at 07:19 PM ·

 i'm an idiot.


i meant Anne-Sophie Mutter, not Sophie-Anne Mutter.


i apologize!

November 26, 2008 at 09:17 PM ·

Anne-Sophie is much better than Sophie-Anne, who plays spoons.


November 27, 2008 at 02:07 AM ·

 When i put Sophie-Ann, I was like "Is this right?", but I kept it.


it was until i googled her that i realized my error.



November 27, 2008 at 02:41 AM ·

Feel like a real oldtimer, never had to google the name of one of my favorite performers... And about ASMs name, I can't help myself to forget one of the most politically incorrect answers ever listened in the last 20 years: As asked (by a pretty bureaucratic & boring German interviewer) “what you have to say about Anne-Sophie Mutter?”, Nigel Kennedy answered “'s three words, isn't it?”Sorry for being OT & bring on more favorite recordings!

November 27, 2008 at 06:31 AM ·

There is an old recording of the Beethoven concerto, with Furtwängler conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. It has been a long time since I last heard it, but it made quite an impression.


November 27, 2008 at 10:31 PM ·

possibly because the soloist missed the recording session? ;)

November 28, 2008 at 03:18 PM ·

The soloist was Menuhin -- how could I forget to mention him!

November 28, 2008 at 04:27 PM ·

I don't have recordings of all those concertos but I'll list the ones I do:

Bruch- Janine Jansen

Mendelssohn- Janine Jansen

Tchaikovsky- Janine Jansen/ I like Gil Shaham's version, but Janine still tops him!

Elgar- Hilary Hahn

Sibelius- Hilary Hahn

The Four Seasons- Janine Jansen/ I also have Joshua Bell's but he doesn't "blend" with his orchestra very well if you know what I mean. They just didn't have a playing style that worked well together.

But all together I have like 380 songs of classical on my iPod and try to listen to all of them regularly... Gotta love the shuffle feature!

November 29, 2008 at 03:12 AM ·

 I've been listening to Stern's Brahms, and it's fine EXCEPT for one part.  It's during a double-stop run, I think it's quarter notes b/tw g and d strings.  The d notes are fine, but the ones on the g string  (I think it's a B) sounds sharp to me, and that's my only complaint with the whole recording.


But my mom bought me a new ipod today (I can't have it till xmas day) but anyway, I plan to get recordings of all the major concertos.


Speaking of which, how many recording are there of the Shostakovich concerto? 

November 29, 2008 at 03:37 AM ·

Paul, I can give you one piece of advice; I would suggest expanding your musical horizons a bit more.  Janine Jansen is skilled, yes, but having one or two artists that you listen to only will make your musical views narrow.  There are many other great recordings-maybe you can benefit from this thread as well.

Not dissing, Mrs. Jansen, though-such a wonderful violinist.  However, I have noticed that you always mention her whenever we talk about violinists and I would like to see what you think about other players.

Also, I noticed that you said "Janine still tops him!".  That is not possible-recordings are based on preference of interpretation.  The only reason one artist would "top" the other is because of technical ability, but I can assure you that all of these reordings are brilliant in the technical perspective.

November 29, 2008 at 03:50 AM ·

Hi Brian,

I do mention her because she is my favorite violinist. I've listened to a lot of recordings from different violinists... David Oistrakh, Heifetz, Sarah Chang, Hilary Hahn, Janine Jansen, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Gil Shaham etc. But out of all, I like Jansen's the most because I find the interpretations clean, and the emotion doesn't get in the way. For me, people like Perlman's sound is too "sweet"... And I can't stand watching videos of Josha Bell! It's like he's too agressive and throws himself all over the stage... It really distracts from the music.

I just like her playing because it's pure and she doesn't take emotion to an extreme level. That's why I like Gil Shaham as well because he has a similar playing style and it's pure.

But I do keep my horizons open and listen to recordings from multiple artists. Like I have the Tchaikovsky recordings from Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Midori, and I'm waiting for Janine Jansen's recording to come out... And the Bruch from Joshua Bell and Jansen.

November 29, 2008 at 04:04 AM ·

Jansen is one of my favorites.  I will probably buy her recording of the Tchaik. I'm tempted to also get her Bruch and Mendelssohn, but I'll probably listen around on youtube for those two.  I fear that I will become a Jansen yes-man, and I am now looking into recordings from every one.



November 29, 2008 at 04:11 AM ·


Here's a preview of her Mendelssohn and Bruch:


And there is a whole 6 part series on the Tchaikovsky.

November 29, 2008 at 05:17 AM ·

When does Jansen's Tchaik recording come out????????????????????????????

November 29, 2008 at 05:31 AM ·

I don't know...

Some say they already have it but...

Her website says that it was released in October but I only use iTunes and it hasn't come out on there yet.

November 29, 2008 at 07:58 PM ·

It' s out in europe but not in the United States yet.

It was launched in the Netherlands in October.

I have the CD and the "making of" DVD that went with it, and have enjoyed them both a lot. Jansen has the joy of music and a full-bodied, solid and aesthetically convincing interpretation.

I like Heifetz's classy sound and Anne-Sophie Mutter's somewhat experimental interpretation a lot, too.

November 29, 2008 at 08:20 PM ·

For those outside of Europe, or otherwise find it unatainable, the dvd, Janine Jansen- Notes Of A Recording (Tchaikovsky) ,was put up on YouTube. The audio/visual is perfect for the first two parts, but after that, something happened in the uploading and it gets off by a second. It's still great though

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uQ_9yl5IiI

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpNZbx3Iu_o

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZK7PVfmFDU

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycCZebuOVGU

Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qx21jGiWJk

Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raovgNUIeRA

And if anyone just wants the summary of the album:


BTW, Where is the "embedding code" on the YouTube videos? I've never been able to find it!

November 29, 2008 at 08:22 PM ·

Nevermind. Of course I find it right after I ask...

November 29, 2008 at 10:05 PM ·


Paul, you always crack me up, bro.

November 29, 2008 at 11:19 PM ·

 I can't wait until it comes out in the U.S.!


December 1, 2008 at 09:44 PM ·

I've been listening to the Stern Brahm's and I actually really enjoy it now...


it's full of energy and so alive. 

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine