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

Availability

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat major, K207 (1773) [23:54]
Max BRUCH (1838-1920)
Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26 (1868) [25:02]
Tibor Varga (violin)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Walter Susskind
rec. 2-3 January 1953, EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR661 [48:59]

Tibor Varga was in his early thirties in 1953 when he was selected for a prestigious coupling on an English Columbia LP (SX 1017). He was joined by one of the country’s best orchestras under the experienced Walter Susskind who invariably offered sympathetic accompaniments to his soloists.

Varga was an interesting but inconsistent player. His Bruch is undermined by a quivering vibrato, possibly a product of his studies with Jenő Hubay, a number of whose pupils were afflicted with the dreaded Hubay wobble. The insistence with which it is projected robs the music of nuance and renders it more hectoring, at least in the opening movement, than meaningful. He’s rather better when the music is faster because he has less latitude for indulgence in this respect. The many slides and expressive devices that buttress his reading do, however, keep the music alive and alert, albeit some are more blatant than subtle. His chewy vibrato continues to limit variety of tonal production as the concerto develops – albeit, once again, it’s playing of wholehearted commitment. The finale would have been better had he not fallen back on generic tonal production. The ear is often drawn to those Olympian practitioners in the Philharmonia, not least the winds and horns – the latter led by Dennis Brain, I assume.

The companion disc, on the flip side of the Bruch, was Mozart’s Concerto No. 1 in B flat major, K207. There wasn’t much competition in the catalogue of the time for this work but stylistically Varga lacks the kind of Mozartian elegance and purity so effortlessly assumed by a player such as Szymon Goldberg (though he never recorded this concerto). Varga’s restless, incident-heavy playing is constantly on the move, seeking opportunities for expressive gesture: he simply does too much, too often, and his nervous energy can be sapping. The slow movement is probably the most convincing through passages when upper and lower strings are heard in conversation invariably lead to exaggeration. It’s interesting to hear his own cadenzas.

Mixed feelings interpretatively, therefore, but the transfers are excellent. Crisp and clean copies of the LP seem to have been sourced and the recording date is no impediment at all.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Stephen Greenbank

 

 



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