The most disturbing lesson for me here is how underequipped I am to evaluate these musicians. I watched both the Fletcher video above and the Vieaux video below, and then listened to them both again without watching. All the things I'm trying to learn about in my studies are there.
I'm going to accept that the consensus is that there are aspects left wanting in the first performance, that with time I may be able to identify for myself. However, until then, I will be forced to merely enjoy the musical window into the musician and into the past to the composer. For the time being, ignorance serves me.
I have to wonder, though... I can detect a type of tonal difference between these two recordings immediately. To my ear, the microphone sounds closer to the first performer. I can hear small sounds that I don't detect in the second recording. I hear what I believe may be the almost imperceptible contact of the nail to the string before the note is struck. I certainly hear what sounds like the artist's breathing. Neither are audible on the second recording. In the second recording, I believe I can hear reverberation suggestive of a more voluminous recording venue, more distance between the artist and microphone, and less intensive volume dynamics as a result.
Is there a possibility that a less-than-stellar recording set up has muddied the musical waters? I ask this in genuine interest.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton
Armin Hanika 56PF