Itzhak Perlman recorded the Beethoven Violin Concerto in 1981, when he was in his remarkable playing prime. Everything is melody in this sprightly and lyrical interpretation. The Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Carlo Maria Giulini provide well-meshed support for the violinist's supple tone and elegant form.
EMI also includes a 1973 recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with the London Symphony Orchestra and André Previn. This recording was reissued in 2010.
For historic comparison, consider Arthur Grumiaux's wonderful version from the 1960s, while for something very 21st century, there's Janine Jansen's incisive 2009 recording with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie.
Discuss our choice and share your own favorite versions in the comments below.
Beethoven and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
Available at Arkivmusic.com