As part of Chandos Tribute to Lydia Mordkovitch, this re-issue features Bruch’s Violin Concertos Nos 2 and 3 performed by Lydia Mordkovitch with Richard Hickox and the London Symphony Orchestra. Both were recorded in 1998 in Blackheath Halls in London.
There's little competition for the best recordings of Bruch's symphonies, but what competition there is is stiff, very, very stiff. On one side, there are Kurt Masur's opulent accounts with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester from the late '80s, on the other, there are James Conlon's urgent readings with the Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker from the mid-'90s. And yet Michael Halász and the Staatskapelle Weimar have found a way to top them both by delivering performances of surpassing warmth and beauty that still have unstoppable drive and momentum in this 2008 recording of Bruch's First and Second symphonies. One is reminded here and there of the composer of the famous violin concertos, but for the most part, Halász turns in performances of such conviction and authority that it makes one think Bruch's reputation as a symphonist has been seriously underestimated for the past century and a half. Captured in clear, colorful digital sound, this disc deserves to be heard by all fans of 19th century German symphonic music.
There are several reasons to own this Vox Box 2CD set. For the first, it includes five great violin concertos in some of the very best performances in their discography. For the second, Ivry Gitlis (born 1922) is a great living violinist and these recordings made in early 1950s show his art in the best way, when Ivry's violin sounded powerful and brilliant.
"…First of all, Bruch's music is totally great; there's not a dull moment anywhere in Arminius. It is rousing, heroic, compelling, and follows a libretto that makes strong dramatic hay of its distant historical event in musical terms that certainly would have caused the sun to shine for its intended audience. The orchestration is thrilling, the choral writing bountiful, and the soloists here put over their parts in an effective way without overdoing it. Max of course is best known for conducting Baroque music, but in this two-disc set Max decisively puts his best foot forward…" ~allmusicguide
A dazzling orchestral disc of music from the Jewish tradition of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Bruch’s Kol Nidrei is one of the most well-loved works in the cello repertoire. The descending opening phrase of the cello line is instantly recognizable: a universal, extraordinarily expressive utterance.