One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Préalable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation

such a success

An outstanding performance

make acquaintance without delay

Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc

Strong advocacy
for a British composer

Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted

Piano Music 5CDs

Consistently fine

Rare and interesting repertoire

An excellent introduction

A Celebration on Record

An issue of importance

A splendid disc

both enlightening and rewarding
additional review


alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Heifetz - Double Concertos by Bach, Mozart, Brahms
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043  (1717-1723) [14:35]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola in E flat major, K 364 (320d) (1779) [27:00]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 (1887) [29:18]
Jascha Heifetz (violin)
Erick Friedman (violin) (Bach); Thornton Lofthouse (harpsichord) (Bach); William Primrose (viola) (Mozart); Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) (Brahms)
New Symphony Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent (Bach);
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Izler Solomon (Mozart)
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms)
rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England, May 1961 (Bach); Republic Studios, Hollywood, California, February 1956 (Mozart); Republic Studios, Hollywood, California May 1960. ADD. CD audio; SACD; SACD Surround Sound
BMG RCA RED SEAL 88697 04605-2 [70:53]

As expected this is awesome playing recorded with an immediacy that pins the listener against the wall. Set against this the fact that these versions are all just a bit hasty and unfeeling; even brusque at times. It is almost as if Heifetz and his collaborators cross a field of fragile blooms treading them under foot. And yet … and yet … these readings remain profoundly impressive and they do have the capacity to move. The ensemble is thunderously simultaneous in the fortes; agreeably gruff and spot-on in unanimity though a little less so in the Brahms. The Bach and Mozart are successful in a very idiosyncratic way. There’s no doubting the romantic charge ladled on deep, warm and sticky but the results are often irresistible as in the lilting slides at 3.29 in the middle movement of the Mozart. However I would not want to hear these works like this every time.

In these hands the Brahms is the least successful of the three concertos. It lacks the necessary weight of thought and substance. This is a reading that scuds across the surface – rips along flattening the flowers. Compensation is proffered in the form of moments of electrifying excitement but it’s not enough. It does not dig in and for me it certainly does not move. I have heard several different versions recently and while hardly ideal the EMI Gemini (0946 3 81487 2 2) with Oistrakh and Fournier is to be preferred. If you can take the rough edges then another lively, humane yet abrasive performance is the live one on Russian Revelation RV10089 from Viktor Tretyakov and Viktor Feigin – get it if you see it. It has real blood running through its veins and arteries. My reference version however is the Isaac Stern/Leonard Rose version on Sony. There is no absolutely substitute for its lyric 'stickiness' and smoky passion – an overwhelming version.

The sound on this disc is forty years plus old and is grainy yet vivid. The full notes are by Jay S. Harrison.

Rob Barnett


We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


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.