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

2021
56,451 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

December
(short month)


Orphic Moments


Metamorphoses Books I & II

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich

 


Availability
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto in D, Op.61 (1806) [40:36]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Rondo in A, for violin and orchestra, D.438 (1816) [12:02]
Arthur Grumiaux (violin)
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion-Télévision Francaise/Rafael Kubelík  (Beethoven) Carl Schuricht  (Schubert)
rec. January 1961, Paris (Beethoven) and September 1959, Montreux (Schubert)
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR705 [52:41]

It’s always valuable to encounter live examples of Arthur Grumiaux’s Beethoven Concerto to supplement the studio inscriptions he left behind. Familiarity with his 1957 recording with van Beinum, or his 1966 Galliera, or the more recent Concertgebouw disc with Colin Davis, may seem to be sufficient, given how unflappable and consistent an artist he remained. That said, there are invariably extra flashes of drama and local incident that vest live performances with a frisson of expectancy.

It’s particularly valuable, therefore, to welcome this 1961 Paris performance marshalled by none other than Rafael Kubelík who was almost always a most sympathetic but authoritative concerto accompanist. The percussion is rather muffled, and this watery quotient is one of the few disappointing things about the recorded performances, along with a somewhat swimmy acoustic and a tendency of the engineers to turn the volume down for tuttis. Set against that is the strong orchestral support offered by the Czech conductor and the firm sense of direction: Kubelik is certainly faster in basic pulse in the first movement than Galliera and that encourages Grumiaux’s expressivity to flourish at a good firm tempo. The big-boned orchestral sound stage also offers a strong platform for the soloist’s spinto tone quality, especially noticeable after the first movement cadenza, though this quality – I recall it being referred to once as ‘glistening’ – is thankfully omnipresent.

It’s a shame that the tutti level is so dampened by the engineers – to mitigate overload, I assume -. though in compensation, and as a direct result, one can hear Grumiaux’s eloquent bowing through the orchestral mass. The slow movement reveals an increasing range of tone colours from the violinist in a reading that in its essential lyricism is on a par with his studio recordings. The finale sees more knob-twiddling from the engineers’ booth and a resumption of audience shuffling and coughing. Whilst the sonic stage is not the most subtle, Grumiaux surmounts everything with splendid facility and dancing assurance. Applause is retained, though once again the orchestra’s final contribution is artificially dampened.

The violinist only left one studio recording of Schubert’s Rondo, made with the New Philharmonia and Raymond Leppard, so this live one with Carl Schuricht is valuable, for that reason alone. Fortunately, Grumiaux plays with buoyancy, and joie de vivre. It’s a shame that the chilly recording imparts a resinous quality to his tone.

Nevertheless, whilst the differences between this performance of the Concerto and the studio inscriptions may be less overt than between his early 1951-52 Boston recordings of chamber music and his later readings, there is much to commend this relatively rare example of Grumiaux on the wing in this Concerto.

Jonathan Woolf

Masterwork Index: Beethoven violin concerto