Schneiderhan (1915-2002) was one of the finest violinists of
his generation. He made a successful solo career founded upon
the central classics of the concerto and solo repertory. This
new compilation therefore captures him on his home territory;
and most rewarding it is too.
begin with, the recorded sound is thoroughly acceptable in the
case of the Brahms sonata, and much better than that in the
case of the Beethoven concerto and its attendant overture. Carl
Seeman was a sensitive pianist, perfectly suited to the role
of duo partner, and the judgements of tempo and balance are
well made in this Brahms performance, recorded live at the 1956
Edinburgh Festival. It says much for the stature of these artists
that they could command a platform in a major concert venue,
usually the preserve of orchestral rather than chamber music.
While the sound has little bloom, it is admirable clear and
all the details can be heard. What is more, the performance
offers many insights, not least in the eloquent violin lines
of the second movement Adagio.
Kertész developed a highly successful relationship with the
London Symphony Orchestra, and their full-toned performance
of the Egmont Overture has excellent playing and a recorded
sound that has a marvellously full body. This and the attendant
concerto recording feature some of the best sound to be encountered
in this important BBC Legends series. All credit to the original
recording engineers, as to Tony Faulkner’s remastering. It seems
scarcely credible that the performances took place 43 years
performances themselves are impressive too. While that of the
Egmont Overture does not really catch fire until the
coda, known as the ‘Symphony of Victory’, the quality of the
playing and the orchestral sound provide ample compensation.
But for a really powerful and electric Egmont Overture
try George Szell and the Vienna Philharmonic, coupled with the
complete incidental music (Decca 425 972-2).
was a celebrated exponent of the Beethoven concerto and his
Deutsche Grammophon recording (447
403) with Eugen Jochum and the Berlin Philharmonic has generally
been highly regarded. At the Festival Hall in 1964 he again
preferred Beethoven’s cadenza with timpani, arranged by the
composer from his piano arrangement of the original concerto.
He plays throughout with secure and full intonation, aided by
a sympathetically warm acoustic, which was well captured by
the original recording. Perhaps the microphone placement favours
the soloist in the perspective, but that is hardly unusual.
Once established the tempi always feel just right in every movement.
with the other issues in this series, there is no information
about the music, but a full and well researched accompanying
note about the artist in focus. This admirable example is by
Tully Potter. Perhaps this is selling the project short, since
Schneiderhan and Kertész give us an interpretation of the Beethoven
Violin Concerto that can stand alongside the best.