Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

Michael Rabin (violin)
Henryk WIENIAWSKI
(1835-1880)
Violin Concerto No 2 in D minor Op.22 (1870) [23:49] ¹
Moto Perpetuo Op.11 [3:18] ²
Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op.6 (c. 1817-1818) [29:13] ¹
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Introduction et Rondo capriccioso (1863) [9:37] ²
Grigoras DINICU (1889 – 1949) Hora Staccato (1906) arranged Jascha Heifetz
[1:55] ²
Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908)

Zigeunerweisen – Gypsy Airs Op.20 (1878) [9:24] ²
Michael Rabin (violin)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Eugene Goossens ¹
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra/Felix Slatkin ²
rec. Studio No.1, Abbey Road, London, May 1960 (Concertos) and Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, September 1959 (remainder)
MEDICI MM023-2 [77:56]
Experience Classicsonline


 

This is a well-selected slice of Rabin’s discography and it falls neatly into discrete parts. Rabin’s commercial concerto repertoire was pitifully small and the entirety of it was recorded in London with the Philharmonia under various conductors. Here we have two virtuoso warhorses – Wieniawski No.2 and Paganini No.1 accompanied by Eugene Goossens.

In the rather patchy recent biography of the violinist one did at least learn that Rabin’s own choice for conductors at this session was Susskind or Sargent but if they were unavailable (which they were) then, in descending order – Barbirolli, Giulini, Galliera, or von Matacic. Von Matacic asked for the lowest fees so naturally EMI approached him first – but he was busy. The company had initially countered with Fistoulari but in the event it was Goossens who presided, with whom Rabin had performed during his 1952 Australasian tour.

There is something of a depressing quality to these recordings. Not that they’re at all poor – quite the reverse – but it’s sobering to realise that so soon after the taping Rabin went so spectacularly off the rails. The notorious Berlin recital jeering was just one manifestation of the drugs quagmire into which he was slipping, though there were plenty of others. Here, no intimations of such frailties are apparent, even in works as demanding as these.

The Wieniawski has had many a stellar exponent – Heifetz, Elman and Stern are just three to spring to mind – but Rabin deserves his place at the top table. There are certainly still vestiges of his idol Heifetz’s finger position changes, and the ethos roughly approximates to that of the Russian player. Certainly the expressive contours are similar. But the tone production is Rabin’s own by now and he phrases with rapt tonal beauty throughout, not least in the pristine control and elegance of the slow movement. Note too his exuberant fillip at 2:46 in the finale and the brilliantly tight trill and marvellously fluid bowing. He plays the Flesch cadenza in the first movement.

The Paganini was recorded on the same day. Together with the Wieniawski it is indicative of the virtuoso fascination with which the young Rabin was held – he was twenty-four at the time. The playing is scrupulously clean and the tone is burnished and multi-variegated. This was a stereo remake of an earlier mono with von Matacic – and it shows Rabin in all his youthful glory, very adeptly followed by Goossens, himself an ex-fiddle player.

The other part of the disc’s equation is the session in Hollywood with Felix Slatkin. Rabin was taught by Galamian so he should be assured in the French idiom and he proves to be so in the Saint-Saëns. For all the virtuoso accretions that have attached to Rabin’s name, and for all his sometimes coarse written and verbal manner, he was an innately tasteful player as this performance shows. The Dinicu is rather done in the by orchestration which draws the ear way from the solo line, thereby diluting the tang of Heifetz’s arrangement. But the Sarasate redeems things with its burnish and control, its suggestive animation without an ounce of grandstanding.

Discographers will note that he’d already recorded the Saint-Saëns with the Philharmonia and Galliera in 1955, the Paganini Moto perpetuo and Zigeunerweisen with the Columbia Symphony and Voorhees.

The transfers have been sympathetically handled and there are good booklet notes by Tully Potter. This is a fireworks disc, it’s true, but they’re lit with such sensitive panache that you cannot fail to be won over by Rabin’s assured brilliance.

Jonathan Woolf



 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.