A passionate Bruch collection

Gluzman brings a freshness, vitality and passion to a selection of old and new Bruch works

Composer: Bruch
Repertoire:  Violin Concerto No.1; Romance; String Quintet
Artists: Vadim Gluzman (vln), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: BiS BiS-SACD-1852

The Music: The familiar First Violin Concerto which has lost none of its popularity is coupled with two much later works from Bruch, both rarities.

The Performance: Previously dismissive of Bruch’s ubiquitous First Violin Concerto, Gluzman embraces its emotion and character with such passion it’s as though this is a new discovery for him, with freshness, vitality and in the finale, great pace and wonderful rhythms. But the heart of the work is the Adagio, and here Gluzman delivers the melody with breathtaking intensity. Bruch’s string quintet is the bonus here, as Gluzman is joined by some of the finest chamber players for a dynamic performance.

The Verdict: It’s unusual for a single recording to change my mind, but Gluzman’s performance revitalises music that can sound conservative, even tired, in less talented hands. Backed by the Bergen orchestra, Bruch has a new champion.

Want More? Stay with Gluzman as he sticks with the ‘B’s! His Barber, Bernstein and Bloch combination is compelling (BIS, BIS-SACD-1662).

Why You’ll Love This

•    Familiar But Fabulous
Gluzman plays Bruch’s evergreen concerto as though he’d never heard another performance! The compelling beauty of his playing replaces the usual cloying sentimentalism of the Adagio with a poetic tenderness.

•    Romantic Rarities
Two rare treats alongside the concerto deserve attention. The Romance bears all Bruch’s melodic hallmarks but the vibrant late Quintet is a surprise from this composer who disliked chamber music!

•    Perfect Partnerships
Gluzman’s musical partnerships are well chosen. His personality and pace is complemented by bold, colourful playing from the orchestra, and this talented quintet of friends share his exuberance and enthusiasm.