Your First Pick? - Beethoven's Violin Concerto

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Lance
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Your First Pick? - Beethoven's Violin Concerto

Post by Lance » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:16 pm

As one of the world's most recorded violin concertos, this will, once again, be difficult for collectors to offer a First Pick. It is for me, simply because I love the work, and most of the performances by the master fiddlers we all know and love so well. I shan't even tell you how many recordings of this I have on both, CD and LP.

There's one that would be the so-called "standard," imbued with beauty of tone and expression, a superb orchestra and conductor, so:

My First Pick:
ARTUR GRUMIAUX, violinist
Concertgebouw Orchestra-Amsterdam
Eduard van Beinum, conductor
Epic LP LC-3420

Near as I know, it was recorded in mono only. Grumiaux went on to make many other recordings of this work, all in stereo. I'm sure this [domestically issued Epic] performance was issued in Philips huge CD boxed set, but alas, I never acquired this in its complete form (and naturally kick myself accordingly). Maybe our Violin Specialist knows if this performance was issued on CD, or our Cello Specialist. If so, I'd like to know the CD number if possible.

Other performances I love include:

*Heifetz/Boston Symphony/Munch - RCA [also w/Toscanini]
*Oistrakh in any of his various recordings - Angel, Melodiya, others
*Schneiderhan/Berlin Philharmonic/Furtwängler - DGG
*Szigeti/British Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Walter - EMI
*Menuhin/Philharmonic Orchestra/Furtwängler [two versions, EMI/Testament, recording dates different]
*Adolf Busch/Orchestra-unnamed/Fritz Busch, conductor [Live]
*Szymon Goldberg/NYP/Mitropoulos [Live]
*Neveu/SW German Radio Orchestra/Rosbaud [Live 1949]
*Schneiderhan/Rome Orchestra/Celibidache [Live]
*Francescatti/Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy - CBS/Sony
*Elman/London Philharmonic/Solti - Telefunken
*Gruenberg/New Philharmonia/Horenstein - Nonesuch
______________

And probably the MOST UNUSUAL and exciting performance I've heard is the one with GIDON KREMER with the Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields under Neville Marriner's direction on Philips with the Schnittke cadenza. This was issued briefly on a Philips CD that I have been searching for ... for many years, though I have it on an excellent LP [6514.075]. Beethoven might turn over in his grave at this performance, but it blends, in a very distinct way, the old with the new, AND, you will never forget this performance once heard!

So, let's see what you come up with for this most popular, staple item in the violin concerto literature.
Lance G. Hill
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:22 pm

My favorite is Erich/Rohn with Furtwangler and the BPO (as much for Furtwangler's support as for Rohn, although he did have a beautiful tone). I believe Rohn was the BPO's concertmaster.

In modern sound, I like Grumiaux with Colin Davis and the Concertgebouw.
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Post by Bob » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:00 pm

I'd make a case for Heifetz with Munch and BSO. To me, Heifetz comes across with a polished lyricism whereby he turns each phrase as richly and perfectly as one can. What seals this, for me, is Munch's accompaniment with BSO.

Bob

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Post by Heck148 » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:11 pm

Several possibilities:

Heifetz/Rodzinski/NYPO 1945 - usually my favorite, also -
Francescatti/Walter/ColSO
Heifetz/Toscanini/NBC/1940
Szigeti/Walter/NYPO/1947

Darryl
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Post by Darryl » Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:28 pm

Another Heifetz/Munch (the XRCD will be here tomorrow!). Also Perlman/Giulini.

pizza
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Post by pizza » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:48 pm

For me, it's easily Milstein/Steinberg.

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Post by herman » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:07 am

The favorite on my shelf is Christian Ferras and Böhm conducting the Berlin PO, November 1951.

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Post by karlhenning » Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:01 am

pizza wrote:For me, it's easily Milstein/Steinberg.
Ditto.
Karl Henning, PhD
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oisfetz
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Post by oisfetz » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:15 am

There are maybe 200 versions of LvB v.c. A friend of mine has more than 60.
Its a difficult choice!

aurora
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Post by aurora » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:41 am

my dead last pick would be ANY recording that includes the Schnittke cadenza.


Hearing that on the radio (Kremer) was one of those moments that I had had to stop what I was doing & wait around to find out what it was so that I could avoid it in the future.

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Post by Lance » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:46 am

aurora wrote:my dead last pick would be ANY recording that includes the Schnittke cadenza.


Hearing that on the radio (Kremer) was one of those moments that I had had to stop what I was doing & wait around to find out what it was so that I could avoid it in the future.
I can understand this. But, nonetheless, I found the performance intriguiging. Kremer's is the only one that immediately comes to mind containing the Schnittke cadenza. I'd be curious to know if there are others. So, what IS your First Pick of this work?
Lance G. Hill
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aurora
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Post by aurora » Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:20 am

Lance wrote:
aurora wrote:my dead last pick would be ANY recording that includes the Schnittke cadenza.


Hearing that on the radio (Kremer) was one of those moments that I had had to stop what I was doing & wait around to find out what it was so that I could avoid it in the future.
I can understand this. But, nonetheless, I found the performance intriguiging. Kremer's is the only one that immediately comes to mind containing the Schnittke cadenza. I'd be curious to know if there are others. So, what IS your First Pick of this work?
When I went looking for a recording of this piece, I got Perlman/Barenboim. I couldn’t tell you what else was there to choose from at the time, but this one also had the 2 Romances, so that was part of my choice as I had recently worked on #2 with my teacher.

When I started buying CD’s of my favourite performers, I also acquired

Szeyng/Schmidt
Milstein/Steinberg
Kogan/Silvestri

…. one of these days I’ll have to figure out which is my favourite!

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Post by DavidRoss » Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:23 am

Impossible for me to select one recording. For years I've relied on the Heifetz/Munch recording. But glowing reviews in recent years prompted me to acquire both the Hahn/Zinman recording and the period performance disc by Zehetmair with Brüggen and the Orchestra of the 18th Century. Both are terrific. Yet all three recordings are so satisfying that--despite my general preference for HIPsters--I am equally likely to reach for any one of them, depending on my mood and which I most recently heard.
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aurora
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Post by aurora » Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:02 pm

oh yeah... I have the Hahn/Zinman too.

Holden Fourth
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Post by Holden Fourth » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:02 pm

While I canlisten to historical piano recordings I find that this doesn't really suit the violin as I discoverd when I got a set of heifetz disc recorded in the 30s and early 40s. So my automatic first choice goes to Heifetz/Munch. Then again, I haven't heard many of the LvB VC recordings so there is probably something out there I'd like far better.

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Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:19 pm

Piano Concerto in D Major, Op. 61a (Jando-Drahos/Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia on Naxos) . . . for a change of pace, how about the piano version of this work?

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Post by herman » Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:33 am

bad idea.

Peter Schenkman
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:40 am

Just about any of the performances listed are just fine. The Beethoven Concerto seems to be blessed with lots of outstanding recordings. One performance not mentioned that I’ve always been partial to is the 1934 Bronislaw Huberman recording with George Szell leading the Vienna Philharmonic (Naxos 8. 110903).

Peter Schenkman
CMG Cello Specialist

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