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Huberman: Concert and Recital Recordings
Ludwig van Beethoven, Bedrich Smetana, Johann Sebastian Bach
Huberman: Concert and Recital Recordings
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

Essential recording of the Beethoven Concerto
Hans U. Widmaier | Elmhurst, IL USA | 11/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Huberman's approach to the violin is highly unusual by modern standards. His aesthetic world predates the reigning ideal of the mellifluous, voluptuous tone and smooth, edge-free phrasing first popularized by Kreisler and solidified into aesthetic dogma by Heifetz, Milstein, Oistrakh and Szeryng. To a degree that is almost shocking today, Huberman bypasses any such considerations and goes straight for the musical core, the human value embodied in the piece. Without a question, this interpretation of the Beethoven Concerto explores Beethoven's philosophy more deeply than any other. Huberman makes you think: about art and individualism, about the relationship between aesthetics and meaning, about music as a force for the good. That doesn't mean that Huberman is boring or stodgy. On the contrary: he is thrilling, incredibly dramatic, with more raw excitement than any modern violinist."
Fascinating but flawed
madamemusico | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 08/31/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In some ways, this CD is superior to the companion volume of Brahms Sonata No. 1, Bach Partida and short works by Schubert and Sarasate, as the sound quality is almost uniformly excellent for its time. And, as has been pointed out by the other reviewers here, having anything "live" by Huberman is almost a Holy Grail for classical music lovers. Yet certain caveats must be given.
First, the Beethoven concerto. It is true that Huberman is freer, more relaxed and expansive here than in the 1934 recording with George Szell, but the third-rate pick-up orchestra used here somewhat nullifies his reading. Right from the outset, the winds are slightly out of tune and the upper strings hack and scrape with rather alarming results; the French horns crack at the beginning of the second movement. Just try to imagine Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg playing this concerto with your local civic orchestra, and you'll have a good idea of what this sounds like.
Second, the "Kreutzer" Sonata. The producers have only given us the first and third movements here, since these are "alternate" takes to the version that used to be on an EMI CD. But the EMI CD is now out of print, so all you can get of this great performance now are these first and last movements. Shame on them! Including the second movement would only have extended the playing time another 8 1/2 minutes, to about 77 for the whole CD, which is certainly a reasonable length.
Thirdly, the Bach. The transcript from which this was taken cuts off a few bars before the end of the work. Since Huberman recorded this piece commercially, albeit at a somewhat quicker tempo, they really should have spliced the last few bars in. This is what other reissue companies have done with missing segments of otherwise complete works, and I agree with the practice.
Does this mean that this disc is not worth getting? Hardly. As I said earlier, ANY "live" Huberman is tantamount to finding the Holy Grail...and there is something very sweet, almost chivalrous about the radio announcer saying, "Thank you, Mr. Huberman" after the Violin Concerto. I almost felt like adding my own thanks, especially for his fantastic playing of the (now-forgotten) Joachim cadenza, and his magical entrance to the third movement."
Revelatory new huberman cd
madamemusico | 01/02/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Mr. Allan Evans is pursuing his dedicated, not really "comercial" work of proposing rare valuable recordings on his own label, Arbiter. The CD contains absolutely first-rate interpretations in acceptable -- even if not Hi-Fi (that's why a star is missing)-- sound. The Beethoven live recording is a more flexible and improvisatoric alternative to the classic 1934 Vienna recording. Huberman's spiritual world, now almost lost, is splendidly fixed in the "idealistic" sound of his violin, not as much expressing the ideal of Heifetz-like perfectionism as high, complex humanistic values. Anyway, Huberman's recordings are so pathetically few that a respectable music lover should own them all..."