Album: Gido Kremer, Beethoven: Violin Concerto (Newton Classics)

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The Independent Culture

When Gidon Kremer's interpretation of Beethoven's Violin Concerto, recorded with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Neville Marriner, was originally issued in the early 1980s, the cadenzas written for him by his friend Alfred Schnittke caused a sensation – and rightly so, more than justifying Schnittke's subsidiary sleeve credit. Even decades later, their flinty, abrasive manner causes a considerable shock towards the end of the first movement Allegro, a collision of styles and eras that takes in subsequent developments by Berg, Bartok and Shostakovich, as well as Beethoven himself.

But such is Kremer's virtuosic command of both instrument and material that the clash does not destroy the piece, with the second movement Larghetto warmly bringing it back on course.

DOWNLOAD THIS Violin Concerto