Classical Reissue Reviews

Nelli Shkolnikova = MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E Minor; TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major; KHACHATURIAN: Chanson-poeme in E Minor; PAGANINI: 2 Caprices; YSAYE: Sonata No. 3 in D Minor – Nelli Shkolnikova, violin/ Rozhdestvensky – Doremi

Amazing, thrilling performances of both violin concerto potboilers

Published on November 29, 2005

Nelli Shkolnikova = MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E Minor; TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major; KHACHATURIAN: Chanson-poeme in E Minor; PAGANINI: 2 Caprices; YSAYE: Sonata No. 3 in D Minor – Nelli Shkolnikova, violin/ Rozhdestvensky – Doremi
Nelli Shkolnikova, v. = MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E
Minor; TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35; KHACHATURIAN:
Chanson-poeme in E Minor; PAGANINI: 2 Caprices; YSAYE: Sonata No. 3 in
D Minor, Op. 27 “Ballade” – Nelli Shkolnikova, violin/ Yevgeni Malinin,
piano/ Moscow Radio Orchestra/Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Mendelssohn)
Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Kiril Kondrashin (Tchaikovsky)

Doremi DHR-7819  78:34 (Distrib. Allegro) ****:

Don’t even imagine that this is just another Mendelssohn/Tchaikovsky
combination – the same, tired pair, huddled together again to find
refuge on our recorded shores. This Nelli Shkolnikova (b. 1928), a
pupil of Yankilevich and winner of the 1953 Grand Prix at the
Marguerite Long and Jacques Thibaud Competiton in Paris, is a
firebrand. If someone had played “drop the needle” or perhaps “shoot
the laser” on me, and asked me to name the violinist, I would have
declaimed, “Ruggiero Ricci on a good day.” 

I understand that Shkolnikova is now a member of the violin faculty at
Indiana University. The two concertos inscribed here are taken from
Melodiya recordings made in 1973 (Mendelssohn) and 1959 (Tchaikovsky).
The sound on both concertos is good, with a bit of tape hiss, but
nothing to intrude on our awe as Shkolnikova tears the Mendelssohn
apart and rebuilds it before our astonished ears. She won the
prestigious Ginette Neveu Prize for her work on Tchaikovsky’s Concerto,
and here it is, a spitfire rendition that leaves you breathless. The
salon pieces derive from a Paris concert 26 June 1953, a few days after
Shkolnikova’s sensational performance at the Long-Thibaud Competition.
Those who recall pianist Yevgeni Malinin’s few EMI records will be
happy to hear him in recital. Our little lady blisters the Ysaye after
scorching the two Paganini caprices (Nos. 10 and 17). Only the
Khachaturian, along with the tender moments in the concertos, receives
some of her TLC, which is a refined, shimmering arioso with a great
tone and generous vibrato. Buy this one, but wear asbestos gloves when
you put it in your sound system!

–Gary Lemco




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