Brahms: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata No. 1

BIS: BIS2172

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Brahms: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata No. 1


Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2017



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Release date:

2nd June 2017




72 minutes


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Brahms: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata No. 1


Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, James Gaffigan

Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78

Angela Yoffe (piano)

Vadim Gluzman (violin)



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One of Johannes Brahms’s sunniest works, the Violin Concerto in D major was conceived during the summer of 1878, which Brahms spent by the idyllic Wörthersee in Kärnten, Austria. By the end of the summer he was able to send the violin part of the first movement, and the beginning of the Finale to his friend Joseph Joachim. Brahms asked Joachim for advice regarding the writing for violin, and also told him that he was planning a work in four movements. By the time Joachim gave the first performance of the work, on New Year’s Day 1879, the two had discussed the work in depth, Brahms had replaced the two projected inner movements with the glowing Adagio, and Joachim had composed a first version of his own cadenza, which still is the one most often performed.

Vadim Gluzman, who on BIS has previously released Romantic war-horses such as the concertos by Tchaikovsky and Bruch to critical acclaim, now takes on Brahms with the support of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester under James Gaffigan. He combines it with the composer’s Violin Sonata No. 1, written more or less in tandem with the concerto, performing it with his wife and recital partner Angela Yoffe.

Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77

I. Allegro non troppo (cadenza by J. Joachim)

II. Adagio

III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78 "Regen"

I. Vivace, ma non troppo

II. Adagio

III. Allegro molto moderato

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata in A Minor, WoO 2 "F-A-E"

III. Scherzo in C Minor

Gramophone Magazine

July 2017

“Spend just a few minutes in the company of Gluzman’s Brahms Concerto and, to call on an obvious cliché, you ‘know where he’s coming from’...Gluzman’s mellow tone, sensitively judged chords, unforced passagework, neat trills and athletic leaps hit their target each time.”

MusicWeb International

28th June 2017

“With imaginative programming, superb musicianship and BIS’s usual very fine recording standard this is very much a ‘what’s not to like’ release and easy to recommend. I especially appreciate the respectful balance between solo and other instruments which creates more of a concert-hall feel rather than a more artificial studio set-up.”

The Strad

July 2017

“The finale is an ebullient partnership between violin and the always excellent orchestra. The recorded sound is rich and full.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2017


“Gluzman [plays with] heartfelt eloquence and unbridled passion [in the Violin Concerto]…Gaffigan’s unfailingly attentive Lucerne players sound almost chamber-like in their textural detailing…in the G major Violin Sonata Gluzman and the velvet-toned Angela Yoffe fully justify expectations…[they] uncover a yearning freshness in its introspective musings.”

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