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Other outstanding advocates include Chung in both the Concerto (No 1) and Scottish Fantasy while many Bruch-ians have warmed to the remarkable Menuhin School 'old-girl', Chloe Hanslip (Warner) who (alongside the beloved G minor) also presents Max's Concerto No 3 in D minor.

On the downside this Fedotov-Naxos disc has a meager 53 minutes' music. For my money (In the 21st century) that's short change, budget recording or not. Exceptions I am prepared to entertain are those of rare 'priceless' (otherwise unobtainable) legendary performances.

The other day I selected at random (from my shelves) six or eight Naxos discs of the 1980s and 90s. None had less than sixty minutes' music and several had 75 minutes plus.

In an age of 79 minute CDs anything less than 60-65 minutes is short change reminiscent of the pop repertoire. Consider the previous Naxos account of Max Bruch's 1st Violin Concerto (May 1989), a 'ho-hum' reading recorded in Bratislava. Soloist Takako Nishizaki, featured with the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra and American conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser (Music director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster, PA, USA).

It appeared alongside Brahms' Violin Concerto, typically taking 34-38 minutes. So, back then, 18 years ago, Naxos' CD panned out at a sliver short of the hour.

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Copyright © 12 February 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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