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Johannes Brahms – Double Concerto – Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, RCO, Bernard Haitink (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Johannes Brahms – Double Concerto – Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, RCO, Bernard Haitink (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:11:29 minutes | 605 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Warner Classics
Recorded: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 19 & 20 June 1979

Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink and recorded in the renowned acoustic of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw: this interpretation of Brahms’s imposing, but warm-hearted Double Concerto could not fail to be both powerful and sincere.

Itzhak Perlman and Mstislav Rostropovich made only one official recording together, and leaving aside one live, in all probability pirate version of Brahms’s Double Concerto, we have no other recorded testimony of a collaboration between these two giants. Which makes this recording all the more special, with Bernard Haitink conducting the splendid Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, with which Perlman would only collaborate one more time in the recording studio (volume 33). Brahms, though doubtless unaware of the fact at the time, was effectively composing his symphonic swansong with his Op.102. Of the twenty-odd works that he would go on to write before his death, only those for piano, voice or chamber ensemble would truly express the inmost distillation of his musical thought. Although commonplace in the Baroque era, concertos for several soloists were very rare by the Romantic period. Brahms was recalling the tradition of the concerto grosso, which Haydn and Mozart had already reinterpreted in their sinfonie concertanti, as had Beethoven in his Triple Concerto. “And now I must tell you about my latest folly,” Brahms had written to his publisher Simrock, “a concerto for violin and cello! My relationship with Joachim meant that I wanted to give up on the idea — but I couldn’t. Luckily we’ve always remained on good terms artistically; but I’d never have believed we would come face to face again.” Joseph Joachim it was of course who received the concerto’s dedication as a gesture of reconciliation and who gave its first public performance, with the cellist Robert Hausmann, in Cologne on 18 October 1887. Some of the twentieth century’s greatest artists joined forces to record this concerto, with the versions set down by Thibaud and Casals (1929), Heifetz and Feuermann (1939), Milstein and Piatigorsky (1951), Stern and Rose (1959 and 1964) and perhaps especially Oistrakh and Rostropovich all living long in the collective memory. “Slava” alone could boast two studio recordings (with Oistrakh in 1969, then this disc with Perlman in 1979) and four live in concert (with Gutnikov in 1963, Menuhin in 1964, Oistrakh in 1965 and Perlman in 1967). As for Perlman, he would only revisit this masterwork once, in 1992, with Yo-Yo Ma (volume 55). –Jean-Michel Molkhou

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Concerto for violin and cello in A minor, Op.102
1 I Allegro 16.50
2 II Andante 7.45
3 III Vivace non troppo 8.45

Itzhak Perlman, violin
Mstislav Rostropovich, cello
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, conductor


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