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

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
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


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor 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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
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


 


Availability

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K218 (1775) [21:14]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (1935) [23:16]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844) [24:02]
Jascha Heifetz (violin)
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky
Bell Telephone O/Donald Voorhees (Mendelssohn)
rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, April 1949, (Mozart, Prokofiev) and June 1949 (Mendelssohn First Movement) and January 1947 (Mendelssohn Second and Third Movements)
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC558 [68:30]

There’s nothing new to the Heifetz discography here given that these performances have all been made available before. They are however brought together in a novel way - there is an important footnote regarding the Mendelssohn Concerto, for which see below - and have been subject to XR restoration.

Heifetz performed the Mozart and Prokofiev Concertos in Boston on 1 April 1949. They were recorded by a local recording studio somewhat ‘on the sly’ but apparently without the intention of commercial gain. They are therefore direct line recordings and it seems unlikely any of the musical participants knew what was going on.

The violinist recorded Mozart’s D minor in the studio with Beecham and Sargent and neither was a particular adornment to his art. The same is true of this one with Koussevitzky, defaced as it is by his perfumed phrasing and too predictable, all-purpose slides. This is evident in the opening movement, made patent in the slow movement, and only slightly mitigated by a decent finale. As so often in this work he plays his own cadenzas. Koussevitzky’s direction is adequate, though there are unshapely, tangled moments orchestrally. The XR transfer has beneficially smoothed out the sound over previous incarnations I’ve heard but has also distanced the solo line.

The Prokofiev is altogether better and plays to both men’s strengths. Even those who incline to Oistrakh’s tempi and tone must surely respect a performance as refined and commanding as this Boston one. XR has detached that somewhat acidic quality that clung to the solo line in previous releases but somewhat at the expense of occluding Heifetz’s tone; to me he sounds less like Heifetz and more monochrome.

The Mendelssohn, to which I alluded above, is a composite. On the Bell Telephone Hour programme he played the second and third movements in January 1947 and the first movement one evening in June 1949, well over two years later. This is apparently making its first appearance in full though whether Pristine’s notes are right to observe that the work is ‘finally united’ – as if the movements were ever divided in the first place (the nature of the programme’s timing made it impossible to play the whole concerto) – is much less arguable. I don’t have a particular problem with this, but I think there is a conceptual difference between artists revisiting a work in the studio (as, for example, Beecham habitually did, fiddling about with things) and putting together two distinct live broadcast performances made over two and a half years apart. That said, Heifetz is his usual sleek self in this work. It’s just that, like Mozart – and fervent admirer of Heifetz as I am, despite appearances to the contrary in this review - I don’t much like him in this concerto, and constantly wish he would do less. In other words, in Mozart and Mendelssohn, I wish he were Szigeti. Voorhees is a perfectly competent accompanist. The transfer is good.

To my surprise, I am slightly disappointed by the transfers in the Mozart and Prokofiev. As for interpretative matters, you can happily ignore my own allegiances for other violinists in the repertoire under discussion.

Jonathan Woolf




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


all cpo reviews

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


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Medtner-melodies-Ang.htm
Nikolai Medtner

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/schubert-symph-8-&-9-blomstedt-DG4863045.htm
Herbert Blomstedt

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Tarrodi-elements-DBCD204.htm
Tarrodi Four Elements

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Verdi-falstaff-57951.htm

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Letters-secret-4860462.htm
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili