Sonata for Violin solo no 1 in G minor, BWV 1001: 1st movement,
Songs without words, vol 5, Opus 62: no 1, Andante espressivo
in G major
State Opera Orchestra/Leo Blech
Naxos Historical 8.110909
These are wonderful performances dating from 1926, splendidly restored by
Mark Obert-Thorn, who descrbes himself as 'a moderate interventionist'.
Kreisler's inimitable tone and phrasing, with portamento which was correct
at that time, immediately brought back vivid recall of boarding-schooldays,
out on the playing field with a wind-up gramophone, playing the 78s of these
same performances on, sharpening thorn needles between the sides. They come
up exactly as I remember them, clear and faithful to Kreisler's tone quality.
I am unconvinced that the progress and the multiplicity of recordings of
these favourites in the seven decades since then amounts to much!
Kreisler was the dedicatee of Elgar's violin concerto and gave its first
performance in 1910 in London, where he was a great favourite. This generously
filled CD includes two solos, the Adagio from Bach's Sonata No.1 in G minor,
and a transcription of Mendelssohn's Song without Words Op. 62/1.
At bargain price it deserves a place on your shelf, hi-fi fanatic though
you may be, and you might be surprised what a satisfying listening experience
Peter Grahame Woolf