ARTEK RECORDINGS CD17: Elmar Oliveira Shostakovich
"For me. the soloist in the first movement of the Violin Concerto must find a balance between melancholy and anger or outrage -- both expressive, but one looking inward, the other striking out."
"Oliveira, with a timing close to Oistrakh's premier recording, offers precision over emotion, a somewhat more "objective" account of the movement, with fewer emotional peaks than Vengerov. This might partially be attributed to the shorter duration: Vengerov/Rostropovich dig in a little deeper and this can be perceived as a greater emotion quotient. The Seattle orchestra produces a leaner sound than the LSO, too.
"The sardonic quality of the second movement is much in evidence: the playing has a very
appropriate edge to it, while the orchestra marches smartly in the background, eventually attaining
that maddening caricature of freedom that characterizes the quick-paced second theme; in any case,
one easily perceives the skull beneath the skin. The performance of the variations in the Passacaglia
again balances expressivity and technique, and the precise interlocking of ostinato and solo violin is
impressive. The cadenza is eloquent, digitally secure, and invested with a true sense of bravura for
the lead-in to the finale."
- Christopher Abbot
Classical Music Web
"Oliveira is a patrician artist and has long attracted the admiration of discriminating listeners..."
"His is a reserved and subtle reading of the Concerto."
"The Scherzo is fluid and fleet with good wind contributions and in the great
Passacaglia there is a sense of nobility and restraint with restricted vibrato usage
and tone colouration.... he's a master of vibrato usage but here he deliberately concentrates
his tonal resources."
- Jonathan Woolf