GLASS Violin Concerto + SCHNITTKE / Kremer 4370912

Gidon Kremer's recording is the oldest, but still the one to go for. No one's better than the Latvian at bringing depth and subtlety to the apparently naive . . . True to form, he shapes the simple, sighing figure of the slow movement most beautifully, with discreet portamento and a beautifully rounded, sad tone . . . He shapes the dynamics more than other soloists, too, often doing more than the score's rather sparse directions, always with effective results. Technically he's spot-on, having no trouble with the fast high C in the impassioned climax of the slow movement, and dashing off the triple- and quadruple-stops in the final movement with crunchy, controlled power . . . There's a light and clean feel to the strings, which are nice and springy in the tripping opening phrases . . . Kremer's approach works perfectly, and is welcome in music that otherwise runs the risk of sounding baroque-lite in a composing-by-numbers way.

[Glass / Violin Concerto]: the pristine surfaces lend a beguiling sheen to the Vienna Philharmonic's backing, while Gidon Kremer's solo part benefits from a profile more sharply outlined than the original mastering . . .