Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1; Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy – Itzhak Perlman, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Foster (2015) [Qobuz 24-96]

Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1; Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy – Itzhak Perlman, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Foster (2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 00:46:05 minutes | 913 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | ©  Warner Classics
Recorded: Kingsway Hall, London, 9 & 10 August 1971

This flamboyant disc marked the beginning of what was to be a thirty-year partnership between Itzhak Perlman and EMI. The company’s decision to present their new signing as a virtuoso paid off, for the twenty-six-year-old violinist immediately stunned the music world with these exceptionally assured and accomplished performances. Perlman’s recording career had begun back in 1964 with a version of the Tchaikovsky Concerto conducted by Alfred Wallenstein. He had then signed a contract with RCA that gave him the opportunity not only to make a second recording of that particular warhorse, but also to display his full range in the Sibelius Concerto, Prokofiev’s No.2, Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, and a number of chamber works (the sonatas by Prokofiev and Franck, Brahms’s Horn Trio).

In committing Paganini’s First Concerto to disc, Perlman was following in the footsteps of the finest virtuosos of the preceding generation, notably Leonid Kogan and Michael Rabin, whose unforgettable recordings many believed would never be surpassed. Such gainsayers had not, however, taken into account the incredible potential of the young Perlman, who proved to possess not only a stunning natural talent and innate sense of bel canto, but also a sense of humour and an instinct for the theatrical, qualities that were to bring an entirely new and lighthearted touch to the work. In his performance of this bravura concerto, which includes Émile Sauret’s famous cadenza, Perlman displayed the boundless technical abilities that he would reaffirm in his subsequent recordings. Coupling the Paganini with Sarasate’s spectacular Carmen Fantasy — the young Perlman’s astonishing rendition of which remains a benchmark today — simply added to the dramatic impact of this first album. EMI’s gamble paid off: this first album raised him instantly to the top rank of violinists, not only of his generation, but of all time. –Jean-Michel Molkhou

Tracklist:
Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840)
Violin Concerto No.1 in D major, Op.6
1 I Allegro maestoso 19.26
Cadenza: Sauret (abbreviated)
2 II Adagio espressivo 5.10
3 III Rondo: Allegro spiritoso 9.43
Pablo de Sarasate (1844–1908)
4 Carmen Fantasy, Op.25 11.44

Personnel:

Itzhak Perlman, violin
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Lawrence Foster, conductor

 

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