Schumann - Violin Concerto in D Minor; Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E Minor (APE)
Schumann – Violin Concerto in D Minor; Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto in E Minor (APE)

Performer: Henryk Szeryng, Charles Reiner
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Antal Dorati
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Mercury
Size: 384 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Schumann: Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO 23 – 1. In kräftigem, nicht zu schnellem Tempo
02. Schumann: Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO 23 – 2. Langsam
03. Schumann: Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO 23 – 3. Lebhaft, doch nicht schnell
04. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, MWV O 14 – 1. Allegro molto appassionato
05. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, MWV O 14 – 2. Andante
06. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, MWV O 14 – 3. Allegro non troppo – Allegro molto vivace
07. Bartók: 6 Roumanian Folk Dances, BB 68, Sz. 56 – Arranged for Violin and Piano by Z. Székely (b.1903)
08. Debussy: La plus que lente, L. 121 (Arr. Roques)
09. Novacek: Perpetuum mobile
10. Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.17 in F sharp minor – arranged for Violin and Piano by F. Kreisler (1875-1962)
11. Marroquín: Mexican Lullaby
12. Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of Tsar Saltan – arranged for Violin and Piano by J. Heifetz (1901-1987) – The Flight of the Bumble-Bee

Unique Hieratic, Almost Baroque Schumann!!

Even though I have long loved the Schumann Violin Concerto, I never heard this performance till recently when I bought a cheap library copy of the CD online. Wow! When I began collecting lps some of these Mercury records were impossible to get because they were collected by what a friend always called the “Audio-fools.” Collected for their putative special sound, and not for the music, allegedly. So I never heard it. And when this CD re-issue came out, I guess I didn’t notice somehow, even though I love Szeryng. Well, I would love to know what the the back-story on this Schumann recording is. It seems in the past a lot of people thought the work was cursed with some sort of schizoid kooties on the husband of Clara’s part. Maybe I am being fanciful, but I bet that as a compensation that idea influenced the performance here. For they seem to have gone out of their way to give a very measured and hieratic reading, and therefore sane, almost Baroque in its cadence. Indeed, in terms of the phrases resolving with trills it literally is almost made to sound a bit like Tartini. Of course, that mixed with Szeryng’s exquisite tone of well-contained romantic flamboyance. Dorati seems to have really followed suit with the special reading, and the whole thing takes on a slightly ritualized edge. Well, that’s maybe a different kind of crazy. Whatever the case, it is just the most delightful reading. I can’t remember one remotely like it but for an Asian violinist on an lp specially pressed by the City of Bonn of the Beethovenhalle Orchester with a conductor named something like Volker Wanngeheim, or something like that. That one is also special.

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