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Nathan Milstein: Aristocrat of the Violin
Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frederick Handel
Nathan Milstein: Aristocrat of the Violin
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #5
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #6
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #7
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #8

This is one of an exciting series that pays homage to some of the greatest recording artists of the recent past, with these elegantly-packaged multi-CD sets devoted to their finest recordings.

      
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This is one of an exciting series that pays homage to some of the greatest recording artists of the recent past, with these elegantly-packaged multi-CD sets devoted to their finest recordings.

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CD Reviews

Frustrating for the seaoned collector, but newcomers don't l
Discophage | France | 01/16/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Those interested in the artistry of Nathan Milstein had a number of propositions to choose from, most of which frustratingly overlapped, and this one adds to the conundrum. I've reviewed both The Art of Nathan Milstein [Box Set] (hereafter "Art") and Les Introuvables Nathan Milstein (hereafter "Introuvables") and discussed at length the content of these two sets and duplications between them. I refer you to these reviews

All the material contained on this new set (hereafter "Aristocrat") was recorded between 1954 and 1964 and originally came on Capitol LPs, except for the recordings from the 1960s, issued on Angel records; most of it has already had previous CD outings, some of which, especially those on EMI's Full Dimensional Sound series (reissues of Capitol, hereafter "FDS") are now impossible to find at reasonable prices. Apparently Beethoven's Romances and Chausson's Poème get here their first CD reissue. Still, "Aristocrat" is as frustrating as "Art", because, besides these valuable new CD issues, it consists of random selections from the previous CDs (even only lazily reissuing portions of Art). "Introuvables" was more fulfilling in this respect.

Here is the material contained in the new set, in alphabetic order of composers. For clarity I've kept a separate listing for the contents of CD 8, a collection of encores and trifles: most were already on Art, and all except the reissue from the LP "Music of Old Russia" with an unnamed orchestra under Robert Irving came on two collections from FDS, Milstein Vignettes and Milstein Encores, which included much more. I don't have this new set, and I've retrieved the info both from EMI's website (gives the detailed track listing but not the artists) and Amazon's download section; thanks also to Richard Steiger in the comments section for confirming that the Bruch and Mendelssohn Concertos were those from 1959 with Leon Barzin conducting the Philharmonia(previously reissued by Classics For Pleasure, Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor; Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor), not the earlier, mono ones with Steinberg from 1953.

Bach sonatas & partitas 1954-56 (CD 1 + 2). These two FDS-CDs are still easily accessible, Bach: Sonatas for Unaccompanied Violin and Bach: Partitas.

Beethoven Sonata 5 (Firkusny 58, also on Art), 9 (Balsam 57) (CD 3) (frustratingly, "Aristocrat" omits Sonata 8 also with Balsam; all three sonatas are on FDS-Beethoven: Sonata No. 9 "Kreutzer"; Sonata No. 8; Sonata No. 5 "Spring" and Introuvables;)

Beethoven 2 Romances (Philharmonia, Milstein cond. 64, CD 7). They were originally released on LP in 1975 on Seraphim S 60238, paired with a reissue of Goldmark's Violin Concerto with the same Philharmonia conducted by Harry Blech in 1957. If so, this is a first CD reissue. The great specialist of Milstein's discography Youngrok Lee, is unsure whether No. 2 is this one or Milstein's previous recording with Walter Süsskind leading the Concert Arts Orchestra in 1960, but the download page does attribute it to the Philharmonia.

Beethoven Violin Concerto (Pittsburgh Steinberg 55 CD 4) (rather than Milstein's stereo remake with Leinsdorf in 1961, which is on Art)

Brahms Violin Concerto (Philharmonia Fistoulari 60 CD 4, also on Art) (rather than Milstein's earlier recording with Steinberg from 1953-4, easily accessible with the same performer's Beethoven above on various CD issues).

Bruch 1st Violin Concerto (Philharmonia, Barzin 59, CD 7)

Chausson Poème (Philharmonia Fistoulari 64, CD 6); it was the original pairing to Saint-Saens' VC 3, and seems to get its first CD reissue

Dvorak & Glazunov Violin Concertos (Pittsburgh Steinberg 57, CD 7) (Art, FDS-Dvorák: Violin Concerto; Glazunov: Violin Concerto)

Haendel Sonata No.4 (Arthur Balsam 55 CD 2) (Art, FDS-Nathan Milstein plays Handel, Mozart & Serge Prokofiev and my last authorized link)

Mendelssohn (Philharmonia, Barzin 58, CD 7).

Mozart Sonatas K296, 304 (Leon Pommers 58, 57, CD 3) (also on Art, but the FDS Handel-Mozart-Prokofiev above had also K301)

Prokofiev Violin Concerto 1 (Saint-Louis, Golschmann 54 CD 5) (FDS-ASIN:B000002SAW with Mendelssohn and Bruch under Steinberg, Introuvables)

Saint Saens Introduction & Rondo capriccioso op 28 (Concert Arts Orchestra, Walter Süsskind 60 CD 7)(previously on a Saint Saens collection, ASIN:B000002SDI)

Saint Saens Violin Concerto 3 (Philharmonia Fistoulari 63 CD 6) (Art)

Tartini Devil's Trill (Leon Pommers 59 CD 2) (Art, FDS-ASIN:B000007TKC "Italian Sonatas", Introuvables)

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Pittsburgh Steinberg 59 CD 5) (Art and various other CD reissues)

Vivaldi Sonata 2 op 2/2 (Leon Pommers 59 CD 2) (Italian Sonatas, Introuvables)

Vitali Chaconne (Balsam 55 CD 2) (Art, Italian Sonatas, Introuvables)

CD 8:
Bach Air from Orchestral Suite 3 (Leon Pommers 57) (Vignettes)

Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 2 (Pommers 56) (Art, Vignettes)

Chopin Nocturne No. 20 (Pommers 56) (Art, Vignettes)

Debussy/Hartmann Minstrels from Preludes book 1 (Pommers 59) (Art, Encores)

Falla Jota from Seven Spanish Folk Dances (Pommers 57) (Art, Vignettes)

Glazunov Meditation op 32 (unnamed orchestra, Robert Irving 60) (Art)

Gluck/Kreisler Dance of the Blessed Sprits from Orfeo ed Euridice (Pommers 56) (Art, Vignettes)

Kreisler Preaeludium and Allegro in the Style of Pugnani (Pommers 59) (Art, Encores)

Massenet Meditation from Thaïs (Pommers 56) (Art, Vignettes)

Mussorgsky Gopak from Sorochintsky Fair (Irving 60) (Art)

Novacek Perpetuum mobile (Pommers 57) (Vignettes)

Rachmaninov Vocalise op 34/14 (Irving 60) (Art)

Rimsky Fantasia on Russian Themes op 33 (Irving 60) (Art), Flight of the Bumblebee (Pommers 56) (Art, Vignettes)

Sarasate Introduction and Tarantelle op 43 (Pommers 59) (Art, Encores)

Tchaikovsky Waltz-Scherzo op 34, Meditation & Scherzo from Souvenir d'un lieu cher op 42 (Irving 60) (all on Art)

Wieniawski Scherzo-Tarentelle op 16 (Pommers 57) (Art, Vignettes)


Bottom line, this set is as good an introduction to the art of Milstein as any - no better than Art, but you get two more CDs and Bach's Sonatas and Partitas. For the seasoned collector however, this is a non-runner, and a frustrating one, given that there is still some EMI material that has been CD-reissued only in Japan. EMI lost a great opportunity to do something REALLY useful. My option is Introuvables complemented by various FDS and other releases, and be patient for the rest."