Celebrated Dutch violinist Maria Milstein performs Prokofiev’s Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 together with Otto Tausk and Phion Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel. The album is available in Stereo and 5 Channel Surround Sound DSD. It is a DSD Exclusive, Not Available on SACD release.
Maria Milstein tells us: “Prokofiev’s music contains boundless fantasy and richness. The first time I heard Oistrakh’s recording of the First Concerto it made an indelible impression on me. The two concertos are extremely different and represent separate stages in Prokofiev’s life. The poetic, heavenly mood of the First Concerto is an invitation to a land of dreams. The second concerto sets an earnest and somber tone from the opening melody.”
She won the prestigious Dutch Music Prize in 2018 and released the critically acclaimed album ‘Ravel Voyageur’ in 2019. She plays a violin by Michele Angelo Bergonzi and a bow by Nicolas Léonard & François Xavier Tourte, on loan from the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.
Phion Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel
Otto Tausk, Conductor
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:47:53
|Analog to Digital Converter|
Horus, Merging Technologies at DSD 256
Van Den Hul, Exclusive Use of Van Den Hul 3T Cables
Brüel & Kjær 4006, Schoeps
Grimm Audio LS1
|Original Recording Format|
Rens Heijnis, Custom Design
Muziekcentrum Enschede, MCO in May 2022
|Release Date||January 27, 2023|
Oh, yes. I’m hopelessly addicted to the music of Prokofiev—there is so much to like, so much to explore. But here are two mainstays: the Violin Concertos. Each is very different from the other, coming from different eras of his life. But both are nicely played. Maria Milstein has become, for me, a favorite violinist. She has a nice touch and I like her musical sensibilities very well. (She also performs as a member of the Van Baerle Trio to marvelous effect.) …The performance is enhanced by the excellent sound quality given us by producer and recording engineer Jared Sacks. It is at his usual very high level of excellence.
But of course the violin needs to be the centre of attention and Milstein pulls off her moment in the sun with aplomb. Milstein can easily join the ranks of Vengerov, and even the incomparable Oistrakh in these concertos. To my ears, she matches Gil Shaham for brio and outclasses him for poetry whilst her conception of both works is deeper and better characterised than Ehnes, to choose but two from a plethora of rivals. She plays with a natural easy charisma that suits the almost naïve wonder of Prokofiev very neatly. Meaning no offence to precocious teenagers, listening to this recording I had the feeling I was in the presence of a mature artist whose interpretations had had time to develop and settle. Milstein has everything she needs to be another star in the violin firmament- gorgeous tone, finely honed musicality and plenty of charisma – maybe this recording will be the one to take her out of the wings onto centre stage?
Ludwig van Toronto
Maria Milstein has taken her time. In her late 30s, she has put years into these neurotic, lyrical masterpieces, and it shows. Nothing that she does is routine, showy or ill-considered. Her expression is intense, devout even, bringing out an unsuspected romanticism, especially in the second concerto, which shares some phrases with the ballet Romeo and Juliet. The opening movement gets down and dirty on the dance floor, while its successor flickers with hints of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Maria Milstein plays as if hearing — and arguing — with an inner voice; it could be Oistrakh, whom her family revered. But the approach is altogether her own, imbued with a personal intimacy.
The orchestra, conducted by Otto Tausk, is attentive, even a little awed. But, where world-class ensembles might swat away the difficulties, I enjoyed for once hearing the struggle that goes into bringing these works to life. The outcome is a real interpretation, not something manufactured around a record label’s conference table. This good performance is definitely an enemy of the best.
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