Performer: Leonidas Kavakos
Orchestra: Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Osmo Vanska
Composer: Jean Sibelius
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Size: 286 MB
01. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47: I. Allegro moderato
02. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47: II. Adagio di molto
03. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47: III. Allegro (ma non tanto)
04. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47: I. Allegro moderato
05. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47: II. Adagio di molto
06. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47: III. Allegro, ma non tanto
Wow! What a revelation! The Original is far better!
So this recording of both versions shows us that Oistrakh and the others play a “Reader’s Digest” version of favorite tunes that Sibelius carved out of his original concerto that failed because of poor performance at the premiere. The “original concerto” on this recording is a revelation of perfect magic–and is a cautionary tale to all of us creators of art.
In the case of Sibelius’s “original concerto,” his friends and advisors were wrong when they convinced him to make his concerto more accessible to performers and listeners by cutting the difficult passages. The “original” is a perfect gem, and the “final” version is but a Walt Disney Fantasia caricature–commercial and popular and good for kids, but lacking the power and artistry of the original. Just listen to the “original version’s” perfect setup of the cadenzas to see what I mean. I have always thought the setup of the cadenza in the first movement of the Revision that all the orchestras play is forced and poorly composed, and the Original version shows that I am right. The Original provides the subtle harmonic shift that makes sense of the outcry at the beginning of the cadenza.
Furthermore, when you compare the Original to the Revision in the last movement, you will see that the Revision uses the timpani like a crass rock-and-roll beat to keep everybody together. In contrast, the Original uses the timpani sparingly in the beginning of the last movement as a haunting and ominous coloration, much more powerful and threatening because it is used just enough and not too much.