Naxos continues its
Furtwängler commercial legacy with
a famous brace of performances given
two years apart. The Beethoven Violin
Concerto was recorded in Lucerne in
1947 and is to be distinguished from
the 1953 collaboration with Menuhin
in London with the Philharmonia in 1953
and Ė for obvious reasons - the live
Berlin performance given three months
after this Lucerne encounter.
reflective and profoundly convincing
this represents one of Menuhinís most
successful ascents of this Olympus.
Menuhin is in fine technical form, his
trills fast and pellucid, his tone multi-hued,
and his artistry ever alive. He drives
through the first movement cadenza with
exemplary zeal. Furtwängler marshals
tuttis of majestic force and vests the
slow movement with prayerful expressivity.
Menuhin responds through intricate shades
of vibrato usage, tightening and coiling
appropriately. Rather endearingly Menuhin
makes a few fluffs in the finale and
some of his passagework is rather smeary;
this seems to have set off one of the
horn players, whose bad fluff at around
5í00 was not retaken.
only one commercial recording of Mozartís
G minor Symphony; thereís a live VPO
from 1949 and a live Berlin Philharmonic
traversal from the same year given in
Wiesbaden, where he preferred the version
without clarinets. In this Vienna set
his approach is strong though undogmatic
though one senses a lack of optimum
weight in the tuttis for some reason.
The slow movement is slow, spun out
like an operatic aria, though not in
my experience superior to an inspired
live Schuricht performance given in
Italy during that conductorís last years.
It sounds to me that
Ward Marston has added a touch of reverb
to the Lucerne recording in particular.
I donít have access to the Vienna original
but itís possible heís added some here
as well. It would account for the ambient
warmth of the former, and the results
are certainly pleasing.
commercial legacy wasnít huge so collectors
will welcome the latest instalment with