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

and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

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

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

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

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews



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


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


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

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

all Bridge reviews

all cpo 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

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844) [26:44]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 (1878) [39:02]
Johanna Martzy (violin)
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Hans Müller-Kray (Mendelssohn); Günter Wand (Brahms)
rec. Liederhalle Stuttgart, 5 February 1959 (Mendelssohn); 6 February 1964 (Brahms)

Testament has reissued Johanna Martzy’s studio inscriptions of these two concertos, recorded with Paul Kletzki and the Philharmonia in London. She was a most impressive interpreter of both works as these and surviving broadcast documents continue to show. These German examples amplify the virtues.

The Mendelssohn was given with the SWR Orchestra under the experienced baton of Hans Müller-Kray in February 1959. This was a work she had first tried to record with Sawallisch and the Philharmonia in 1954 but for some reason it remained unissued, thus necessitating Kletzki to take the reins the following year. Tahra has released (TAH553) a broadcast performance she gave with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt from January 1954, around the time of that abortive attempt with Sawallisch. It’s clear from the aural evidence that she responded avidly to the stresses and excitements of a live broadcast, as both with Schmidt-Isserstedt and, here, Müller-Kray, she plays with greater vitality and flexibility than with Kletzki, where she is that much more cautious. This is especially true of the finale, where she is significantly slower with Kletzki, but also in the slow movement where she is more emotive live.

Her flexible rubati with the SWR are very noticeable, but they never sound imposed, always sounding – to the contrary – part of a feature of her performances of this concerto: mature and convincing. Her pellucid tone quality is most apparent in the slow movement but throughout her playing is tasteful, sometimes free, and always communicative.

It is Günter Wand who directs her in the Brahms with the same orchestra in 1964. Once again, those who know only the Kletzki-directed LP traversal may be surprised - not necessarily by the particular differences in interpretative stance, but by the tightening of tempo relationships. Her approach in the studio with Kletzki is relatively broad, but with Wand it has become more malleably flexible, and the results are just as convincing albeit more intense. She doesn’t dig into the string excessively in this concerto and in the central movement that lends her performance a sense of gliding with refined elegance across the music. It is a very personal sense of refinement, very much at odds with the Russian school in this work. Thus in the finale, as with Kletzki, she doesn’t make an especially big thing of the Hungarian gypsy rhythms – she could had she wanted; she had studied in Budapest – preferring instead subtlety, elegance and purity propelled by fine rhythm and discreet slides. A performance of this concerto with Eugen Jochum in 1951 – shorn of its opening movement, alas – has survived and is on the Tahra disc noted above. It conforms to the approach taken well over a decade later with Wand.

The sound quality throughout is excellent and the documentation is helpful.

Discs that amplify or in some way qualify established studio recordings are always valuable. This one, because of the light it sheds on Martzy’s live performances, is particularly welcome, and valuable.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Stephen Greenbank

Masterwork Index: Brahms violin concerto ~~ Mendelssohn violin concerto