Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Robert Schumann, Felix  Mendelssohn, Bela Bartok|
Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor; Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
Sublime Schumann, great Bartok
Denis Bradford | Chelmsford, MA United States | 12/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't even know that Schumann wrote a Violin Concerto until it appeared coupled with some other music on a used CD that I bought recently. Sadly, it was played by a violinist with a vibrato so wide that I couldn't tell what notes he was playing. But I could tell that the piece was a gem. So I looked on line for a recording by a violinist who I thought would be better suited to this music. Luckily Szeryng recorded it, and it is everything I hoped for. I had the good fortune to hear Szeryng in person twice, playing Bach unaccompanied partitas and sonatas. I've never heard anyone play like that since. In my opinion his recordings of that music are as good as any of the more famous recordings, and better than most. Anyway, back to the Schumann: detractors have said that the organic unfolding of this concerto is evidence of his final mental illness. I agree that the outer movements are difficult for both performer and listener. But the middle movement, marked Langsam, is a poetic utterance of the greatest inspiration, and worth the price of admission all by itself. What a tragedy that this concerto was withheld from publication by his friends, and unknown for so many years.Szeryng's facility, natural phrasing and impeccable intonation are wonderful as always, but with this musician virtuosity alone is never the point. What's special is how unerringly he finds the spiritual center of the piece, and he never lets go.
Get this CD for the heart-rending middle movement of the Schumann and for the sparkling Bartok Rumanian Dances. I can't imagine anyone playing either piece more beautifully. Finally, if you need a recording of the Mendelssohn concerto, this one should more than satisfy you. And don't let the analog source deter you: the sound is very good."
Shumann: come on, what's not to love?
Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 12/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Violinist Henryk Szeryng needs no introduction, many believe he recorded the best recordings of the solo Bach set. The tone on this CD is especially great as renowned violin collector Herbert Axlerod once said his violin is one of the best concert violins in the world, when I read that I ran out and bought all of his records. Szeryng has showed many times that he is one of the best violinists of the 20th century because of his impeccable intonation, timing, imaginative phrasing, and unique musical delivery of sound.The Schumann violin concerto has a surprisingly unpopular history. His chamber works are so romantic and are among the finest in the entire repertoire. His wife Clara Wieck was a massive virtuoso pianist and of course he was good friends with the immortal Brahms. If any there is any proof needed of Schumann's genius just listen to his mind-boggling "Kreislerana" for solo piano. Schumann's music is so emotional and precious to me it's a shame what hapened to him.This is an awesome recording of the Schumann Violin Concerto, I have heard recordings by Kremer, Bell, and Menuhin but none even come close to this performance for me. There is never a sense of hesitation or lack of technique, nor any lack of inspiration or feeling in the music. For me, this is an absolutely perfect CD, I can scarcely imagine a better recording. Perhaps in the hands of a different soloist, this concerto might be considered meaningless but every note Szeryng plays has meaning and he truly makes this concerto come alive.The Mendelssohn is the same, flawless and full of emotion and no sense of hesitation or lack of technique. While I prefer Perlman's recording of the Mendelssohn slightly I recommend both to contrast each other and any other recording you may prefer.This is my favorite CD that Mr. Szeryng recorded and one of my top 20 all time violin disks, if you do not have this you should get it for sure. I can recommend this disk totally without hesitation especially to people who have not heard this concerto and are getting sick to listening to other ones over and over."