One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from
 

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
The Four Seasons, concertos for violin, strings and basso continuo Op. 8: Nos. 1-4 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione) (1723) [40:14]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K218 (1775) [28:24]
Henryk Szeryng (violin/conductor)
Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim
rec. 7 December 1969, Stuttgart Liederhalle Beethoven-Saal
SWR MUSIC SWR19041CD [68:49]

The coupling of Vivaldi-and-Mozart is not unique in Szeryng’s discography of live performances. On BBC Legends BBCL 4210-2 (see review) the Mozart concerto, however, was the G major whilst here it’s the A major. This German brace was broadcast just over two years before the ECO and both were self-directed.

There are few differences between the two Vivaldi performances, interpretatively speaking, but the SWR tapes are brighter, clearer and more detailed than the BBC. There’s the same refinement and elegance, the same approach to tempi and tempo relationships, similar rubati and a familiarly smooth legato. Spring’s canine sounds decidedly muzzled, if not quite unconscious. Autumn is becalmed, rhythms stretched, its finale somewhat stodgy-sounding, as was indeed the case in 1972 though Szeryng works well with the uncredited leader of the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim. Naturally he doesn’t embellish the Largo of Winter, preferring the then standard approach of lyric purity. All these observations apply to the studio recording Szeryng left of the work.

His recording of the Mozart concerto cycle with Alexander Gibson and the New Philharmonia has been augmented by the occasional live traversal, as in the case of the G major in the BBC disc. Though he was perhaps less individual a Mozartian than other great exponents at the time, such as Grumiaux and Goldberg, for instance, his playing here is characteristically pristine, his portamenti remaining discreet and tastefully applied. His phrasing is beautifully calibrated at all times, and he is thoughtfully introspective in the slow movement and correspondingly airy in the finale. Neither the wit nor the Janissary elements are overdone; the feeling throughout is one of things being decorously apt. Once again, the clarity of the original SWR tapes is a real help.

Szeryng played the Four Seasons rather often in the period between 1969 and 1972 or so and he was not an artist radically to rethink his approach in so short a period of time. His Mozart is always worth hearing and it’s a real advantage to find such good sound quality as one finds in this fine restoration.

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