[NEW RELEASES] Itzhak Perlman

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[NEW RELEASES] Itzhak Perlman


Itzhak Perlman is an extraordinarily sensitive and emotive violin player, and he reliably takes us on a compelling narrative journey. The “Allegro moderato” from Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony appears to be his first recording of the work, when he was 21 years old. The authority, passion and breathtaking virtuosity he displays is amazing enough: his sensitivity to the orchestra and to Leinsdorf’s brand of precise romanticism makes this a true “essential” (the complete recording is available on at least two reissues, and is well worth having).

A compelling and beautiful Dvorak “Romance,” and romantic and yet still bravura Paganini “Cantabile,” the moving and significant “Baal Shem” of Ernst Bloch are each distinct and wonderful. The particularly robust and technically stunning Ravel “Tzigane” is alone worth the price of the set - a brilliant performance of an eccentric, fantastic and wonderfully enjoyable piece. But the hidden delight for me was rediscovering the Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (“Andante assai”) with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony Orchestra: beautiful tone and lyrical, expressive playing not just by Perlman, but also by a very sensitive and skillful orchestra lead by one of Perlman’s early mentors at the very beginning of his recording career.

And it is a lot of music. Two well-filled discs spanning 30 plus years of Perlman’s career, from a 1965 session with David Garvey, piano, at New York’s Webster Hall (now home to acts like The Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad) to a 1996 session with John Williams and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (“Schindler’s List”) recorded in the warm yet articulate acoustic of the impressive and beautiful Heinz Hall.

Many styles are represented, but the discs are well programmed and can be listened to straight through quite enjoyably. By Fred Applegate, Contributing writer

Itzhak Perlman

“Essential Itzhak Perlman”

Label: Sony Music

Genre: Classical
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