One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance


Availability

Milstein Rarities
Edouard LALO (1823-1892)
Symphonie espagnole in D minor, Op. 21 (1874) [24:05]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in E minor (excerpts): Andante and Allegro non troppo; Allegro molto vivace (1844) [5:34 + 5:54]
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53 (1884) [30:35]
Nathan Milstein (violin)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy (Lalo)
Philharmonic-Symphony of New York/Arturo Toscanini (Mendelssohn), Leopold Stokowski (Dvořák)
Mono
rec. March 1936, Carnegie Hall (Mendelssohn), 1944-45, Academy of Music, Philadelphia (Lalo) and October 1947, Carnegie Hall (Dvořák)
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC503 [66:15] 

The word is rarity. As Mark Obert-Thorn points out, the Lalo with Ormandy hasn’t been reissued officially since the days of 78, the live Mendelssohn torso is the only example of a meeting between Milstein and Toscanini, whilst the Dvořák is both live and never-before-issued and thus the biggest prize of all in the rarity stakes.

Like many Auer students Milstein omitted the Lalo Intermezzo in his 1944-45 Columbia recording in Philadelphia. The presence of the 1955 St Louis/Golschmann Capitol LP has tended to relegate this earlier set to the back of reissue maestro’s minds whilst live survivors such as the Cluytens-directed version in Paris (see review) in the same year as the St Louis studio reading, have served perhaps only to make things more awkward for the 78rpm set, which has been a pity - until now. Ormandy, himself a decent fiddler in his youth – try listening to those old Cameo sides that have been transferred to CD – knows the terrain perfectly, bringing the winds forward when required and drawing out the lower strings powerfully: it helps to have so superbly virtuoso an instrument at the Philadelphia Orchestra playing, of course. Milstein remains everything Hugh Bean said he was; the embodiment of perfect violin playing. His poise and unruffled bowing, the scintillating clarity of his articulation and the lyrical purity of his phrasing are always treasurable. Those few succulent slides in the finale serve notice of his piquant elocution here, and the droll exchanges between winds and soloist cap a reading of cosmopolitan, though admittedly hardly Gallic sensibility.

The Mendelssohn preserves almost all of the slow movement and the finale of what proved to be one of Toscanini’s final performances with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York given in March 1936 in Carnegie Hall. I grew up with Milstein’s Pittsburgh recording with Steinberg, working backwards to the Bruno Walter New York recording of 1945 – I didn’t hear their V Disc recording until much later – before briefly acquainting myself with the Barzin/Philharmonia and not getting around to the late Abbado in Vienna. The sound of the torso is rough, with big overloading at fortes and a brief dropout. Toscanini could be brutal with Mendelssohn, as he could with Dvořák and he’s too rugged. Milstein responds with some elfin sentiment along the way, and the finale is duel-like, in the manner of Heifetz/Cantelli – or indeed Heifetz/Toscanini. This once appeared on an Arturo Toscanini Society LP.

The Dvořák, again with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York, dates from October 1947 but features Stokowski, hitherto known only for his performances of the composer’s Ninth Symphony, Serenade for Strings and a solitary Slavonic Dance, though another tidbit or two exist in the vaults. Milstein was notable among Russians – as was, later, Oistrakh – for his highly persuasive performances of this concerto (if only he hadn’t been quite so cavalier in his dismissal of the Sibelius and Elgar). His Steinberg, Dorati and Burgos studio performances have their adherents, and I liked his live performance as well on Music and Arts with Kletzki in 1956. Stokowski encourages greater breadth in the slow movement than in any of these other collaborations and proves a supportive colleague. As ever Milstein brings out the agile rhythms, though not quite with the rusticity of a Suk or the potent incision of a Příhoda. There’s the bonus of hearing Stokowski’s ‘bravo’ at the end.

This finely transferred disc has done all it can for the Mendelssohn and its appreciable best for the companion concertos.

Jonathan Woolf



 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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