Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Lucerne Festival Orchestra|
Brahms: Violin Concerto; Violin Sonata No. 3; 5 Hungarian Dances
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Listen to Samples
A classic--Menuhin's best postwar recording?
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 01/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This live recording of the Brahms concerto from 1949 finds Menuhin in commanding form. He plays courageously and in tune, with almost undiminished technique. By comparison his two famed readings of the Beethoven concerto, also with Furtwangler on EMI, seem cautious and technically insecure. I can't acount for this contrast, given that the Brahms is much the more challenging work technically.
In any event, this is a performance to celebrate without reservation. In its imagination, emotional depth, and rapport between conductor and soloist, I've never heard an equal. It helps, of course, that Furtwangler was the greatest of Brahms conductors--you can't decide whether to focus on the orchestra or the violin, which is rare.
The Lucerne Festival has given us some of the best-sounding live Furtwangler recordings, particularly an incomparable Beethoven Ninth, but this issn't one of them. EMI must be working from a degraded source -- the mono sound is restricted in dynamics and prone to sudden jumps in volume here and there. The overall tone is grainy but still natural enough so that the ear adapts fairly easily. With better sound I think there would be consensus that this performance dominates the field. As it is, we have a musical treasure to be grateful for from the heart.
(I own the original EMI References recording as well as this 2004 remastering, which I can attest is a major improvement in sound. The engineers have removed surface gritch, added discreet reverberation, and sweetened the string tone--well done!)"