Brahms Violin Concertos are golden

A clear, velvety performance of Brahms and Korngold Violin Concertos is heightened by Vienna Musikverein’s great Golden Hall

Composer: Brahms, Korngold
Repertoire: Violin Concertos
Artists: Nikolaj Znaider (violin), Vienna Phil/Gergiev
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Red Seal 88697 10336-2

Rare for an acoustic to star in a CD, but the sumptuousness of these performances is heightened to perfection by the audible ambience of the Vienna Musikverein’s great Golden Hall. Everything is mellow, velvety, yet clear as a bell. Gergiev brings out Korngold’s jewelled orchestration with a wealth of detail that few have ever captured so well; and Znaider’s gorgeous tone on his Guarneri radiates like sunshine through this luscious and very Viennese repertoire. In the Brahms, Znaider is rugged and aristocratic. Perhaps in the Korngold he’s almost too one-sidedly sweet – it needs lemon juice as well as sugar – but it’s a glorious wallow nonetheless.