Kavakos, Leipzig Gewendhausorchester and Ricardo Chailly play Brahms and Bartok



Brahms, Bartok * * * * *
Leonidas Kavakos (violin), Leipzig Gewendhausorchester, Riccardo Chailly
Before admiring Kavakos, there is so much to like in the tutti that one is reminded of Chailly and, having only recently listened to his complete Brahms symphony cycle, I am tempted to conclude that he is one of the foremost Brahms interpreters alive. The grandeur, the decisive blows, the balance are all there, until Kavakos enters thrillingly. Actually, this is his strongest point, his passionate playing in a positively breathless manner, but always giving the listener the impression he is taking his time whenever the music turns into the pastorally beautiful. What Kavakos lacks, perhaps the only thing he does lack, is that earthly deep tone that only Oistrakh had. In the most intimate and introvert passages, he knows he won’t go that deep and focuses on natural beauty of tone. The accents are all well placed and there is not a single harshly taken episode. The last movement is taken with the perfect tempo and with the right Hungarian attitude and each time the orchestra enters, it is with authority and apt guidance that is admirable. The Bartok Rhapsodies and Brahms Hungarian Dances are apt choices to fill up the CD. One of the best contemporary interpretations of this great violin concerto.

Feyzi Erçin



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