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For budget price (like Naxos) you may care to invest in Tasmin Little's lovely, competitive account, also coupled with the Brahms concerto. Vernon Handley conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (EMI Classics for Pleasure, Catalogue No 74941).

Also on Naxos (Historical 1991), Concerto No 1 in G minor, has the fifteen-year-old Yehudi Menuhin (1931) in his first glorious concerto recording -- featuring the LSO and conductor Sir Landon Ronald. Here the Bruch is coupled with Menuhin's priceless Elgar Concerto (1932) under the baton of Sir Edward himself.

Itzhac Perlman on EMI with Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra provide high-octane music-making, glowing in tone and incandescent with its rich, romantic sweep. But again its bedmate, Mendelssohn's E minor concerto, makes for a short programme.

If you're content with Fedotov's tendency to doze in the concerto adagio and some scrappy moments in the finale, we're still left with a pros and cons situation, hinging on his persuasive Bruch fillers.

The first is Bruch's ardent two-movement Konzertstück in F minor, Op 84 (1910) [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:47]; believed to be the start to an unrealized 4th Concerto -- its Allegro and Adagio are just two seconds different in duration than Naxos' first two movements of Op 26.

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


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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller