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Overall, he concludes that the passionate, emotive, mercurial readings of early recordings became more contemplative, stately and serene. He offers two underlying reasons for this: first, the evolving role of the performer away from interpretation toward objectivity and, second, the impact of technology to replace the need for a strong first impression with the creation of a document that holds up with repeated exposure. Of course, none of these trends is rigidly constant over time nor developed with mathematical precision. Rather, they provide a useful paradigm to evaluate a recording within its era as well as a basis from which to cherish the exceptional examples that transcend the norms of their period.
Above all else, they were expected to project great individuality and often combined the now-specialized talents of composer and performer. The first three recordings of the Violin Concerto were made in the acoustical process, in which the artists crowded into a small room in order to project their sound into a horn that was coupled directly to a stylus that cut the groove into a wax master. Fidelity, dynamics and atmosphere were heavily compromised.
NIELSEN Violin Concerto. Prelude & Theme with Variations | adfefullca.tk
The following headnotes list the soloist, orchestra and conductor, the timings of each movement although the first depends more upon the length of the cadenza than its tempo , the year and original and reissue media. This first recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto would deserve to be treasured if only for historical reasons, but in fact it turns out to be supremely valuable for esthetic purposes.
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Routinely overlooked nowadays, Manen was greatly admired and made major acoustical recordings of not only the Beethoven but the Bruch and Mendelssohn concertos the last twice! Although he continued to perform through the s, apparently he made no electrical recordings. Perhaps most revealing is the finale to the Mendelssohn concerto, taken at breakneck pace but with ample expression, abetted by judicious slides and accents, and relieved by frequent slowing of the tempo to emphasize the faster sections. While this pioneering set appears to have eluded transfer to LP or CD, a generous collector shared audio files of the first and third movements.
Indeed, Manen constantly varies the rhythm within individual phrases for a personalized image that is soulful yet fundamentally sweet. To fit the first movement onto four sides it is heavily cut, bypassing the entire orchestral introduction so as to begin with the bare solo entrance, wrapping up each side with a full cadence, and skipping ahead several pages to begin the next one.
As most of the omissions are orchestral interludes, the soloist is in nearly constant action, thus leaving no doubt as to the focus. While a bit disconcerting to hear excerpts rather than a truly complete performance, it serves as a valuable reminder that 78 rpm recordings were never meant to be heard continuously as we now do by joining the sides together, but rather in relative isolation with allowances for ample breaks while records were manually and carefully changed.
Although the larghetto is the most refined of the three movements, he exhibits the same highly flexible and expressive phrasing, smooth sliding between notes and warm and tender tone with added embellishments and acciaccaturas grace notes before a sustained note that create gentle syncopations. He further applies a barely perceptible but constant deceleration to less than half the initial tempo to subtly shift the mood. The soloist for this first complete recording was known not only for her passionate commitment to music education — she gave hundreds of free concerts for schoolchildren — but for her taste, technical finish and tonal beauty, and thus seems an ideal vehicle for the Beethoven concerto.
She was also a gender pioneer, forming a famous quartet in a realm and era of male domination. She combines both interpretive poles in the Beethoven with deeply empathetic playing without ever wallowing in excess, clean trills and ornaments, fine intonation, light vibrato and a fluid breathing of the musical lines, soaring at the end of phrases and conveying the cadenzas with great freedom but excising a dozen measures from Joachim I. Her conductor, too, exhibited a flexible approach to style — among Ronald's many acoustical symphonic recordings of similar vintage are a suitably volatile Tchaikovsky Sixth , a pliant Brahms Second , an ardent Dvorak Ninth and a bracing Beethoven Fifth — and thus was a suitable accompanist who could mold his approach to the personality of the soloist.
Ironically, though, the generally high tessitura of the solo stands out especially well against the mid-range resonance of the orchestral texture that the acoustical apparatus tended to blur, although some of the soft stratospheric violin notes apparently exceeded the upper range of the mechanism and barely register. Born in , Wolfsthal was hailed by Carl Flesch, one of the foremost violinists and pedagogues of his time, as the best violinist of the next generation and indeed he became concertmaster of the Berlin State Opera at the unheard-of age of 22, which helps to explain why he was chosen for this recording.
Many experts authoritatively state that it was heavily cut, but in fact it is absolutely whole, leading one to wonder if they bothered to hear it. The timing was unfortunate, as it came at the very end of the acoustical era and thus quickly became obsolete, yet it is far from clear why Wolfsthal was afforded a chance to re-record it so soon in lieu of so many established virtuosos and other rising stars whose interpretations had not been inscribed at all. Alas, in a sense the remake was prescient, as Wolfsthal died of flu the next year at age 31, leaving only these sets, Mozart and Mendelssohn concerti the latter with piano accompaniment and a few short pieces to testify to his formidable talent.
Potter cites his reputation as volatile and spontaneous he reportedly ruined a chance to partner with Horowitz in America by fooling around during the audition , but here Wolfsthal only cuts loose in the cadenzas and otherwise applies merely modest inflection to stay well within the bounds of the written score, characterizing the larghetto with considerable empathy and warmth and the rondo with grace and nobility.
In the remake the solo sections are mostly comparable, although tonally sweeter, softer and with fewer slides. The accompaniment, though, is overtly more energetic albeit slower in the acoustic version, perhaps as compensation for the monotony of the recorded texture. Of the conductors, Thierfelder is forgotten nowadays and Gurlitt nearly so — his primary claim to fame is as the composer of a Wozzeck opera contemporaneous with, but eclipsed by, the version by Berg, although he is better remembered in Japan, to which he emigrated when thrown out of the Nazi party upon suspicion of having Jewish roots.
Unfortunately, many music fans tend to disregard the prior efforts due to their comparatively primitive sound, even though their artistic value remains undiminished. Scott attributes Kreisler's popular appeal to his total expressiveness akin to the eloquence of a great singer; indeed Scott notes that Nellie Melba, arguably the most famous soprano of the time, used Kreisler as a model for her vocal students. Beyond a singing tone, Tully Potter cites his warm, sensuous vibrato applied to every phrase, the extraction of different colors with unusual left-hand positions and sweet tone from light and subtle bow pressure.
All this is amply evident in this first electrical recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto , which is infused with a wealth of sheer wholehearted feeling. Indeed, the entire approach sounds intimate and conversational. Of course, Kreisler plays his own magnificent cadenzas to all three movements. All three are played with such natural expression as to sound improvised. Nearly a century later the sheer earnest beauty and conceptual integration of this recording remain awesome — not only historical and historic but immeasurably gratifying and affecting.
Deeply admired, especially among fellow musicians, Szigeti was hailed for his eloquence, integrity and deep musicality.
He reveled in modern music and could hurl himself into it with total abandon — a Library of Congress recital with his compatriot Bela Bartok is staggering in its spiky intensity. Yet he acclimated himself to the nature of each piece — a Bloch concerto, of which he is the dedicatee, is acutely heartfelt while his Mozart and Mendelssohn concerti with Beecham are paradigms of elegant restraint. Looking ahead to the pervasive warmth of his late stereo recordings, Walter provides a far more tempered accompaniment than was his wont at this phase of his career.
A remake with the New York Philharmonic Lys CD is essentially similar, with better fidelity and balance but with Szigeti not quite as fresh. If you wonder why Beethoven, known for his volatile temperament, produced such a serene concerto, Huberman provides a partial answer. Outspoken and politically active throughout his life, he promoted the Pan-European movement as a means to world peace and reacted to Nazism by founding the Palestine Symphony Orchestra now the Israel Philharmonic with refugees and enlisting Toscanini to nurture its first season.
His musicianship was iconoclastic as well, and was already evident in hugely outsized portamento in sides he cut as a teenager in A key, in addition to rubato , is his potent bowing that constantly alters the mood, ranging from digging in with gruff force to suspensions of exquisite grace, even within a single phrase or note. Perhaps most remarkable is the rondo, which can seem a bit tedious and repetitive, but here each episode and iteration takes on a fascinating life of its own with compelling and unaccustomed personal touches — even coy whimsy when his final solo run is barely audible.
Potter characterizes him as warm and sympathetic but at times incurably bland. Here, though, partnered by a rather non-descript conductor known more for respect than interpretive insight, all hints of drama are muted, as the emotional peaks are soothed, transitions are exceptionally fluid and all is suffused in a sweet aura that aptly dwells on the lyrical sections. Even so, the acoustic is reverberant and the fidelity uncommonly detailed for its time, affording an opportunity rare for such vintage to focus on the instrumental balances.
And speaking of non-descript, the largely characterless and unremarkable Polydor set was cut by two unknowns.
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It has been suggested that the main motivation was financial, as the parent Grammophon company was in need of a modern recording to compete with its primary rival and had few accomplished artists meeting governmental that is, racial approval among whom to choose. About all that can be said for this venture, apparently their only collaboration, is that the notes are played accurately — until we get to the cadenzas.
Perhaps to proselytize for their excellence, Freund plays them with a degree of finesse lacking in the rest of his routine. Even so, the recording is impressive for its unusually wide dynamic range, documenting German technological prowess even as its prime artists fled. Spurred by accents and rhythmic energy, the movement covers a huge emotional range. Relatively simple melodic material is countered by a harmonic complexity that to this point had not been explored in the writing of quartets. The movement closes with a forte statement of the melodic motive that opened the movement, and then fades to a close.
The texture is dappled with triplets, dotted rhythms, and the ever-present hymn, giving us a feeling expansiveness and intimacy. The hymn appears one final time in the coda of the movement in fortissimo , with strong sforzandi pushing us toward the conclusion of the movement. The E minor Allegretto offers us a landscape of simplicity and clarity after the Adagio.
The simple tune is accompanied with a sparse rhythm, keeping the texture uncluttered.
The movement unfolds as follows: allegretto-trio-allegretto-trio-allegretto. The presto Finale begins in C major, although the key signature denotes E minor. The symphonic physicality of this music is punctuated by driving rhythm and the energy of the running melodic lines. The return to the rondo theme is achieved through a playful passing of the first three notes of the melody between all four instruments.
The closing prestissimo brings the piece to its impassioned final chords. The heroic Op. The slow twenty-two bar introduction that follows is anchored by a bass line that steadily descends an octave and a half while enigmatic melodic fragments flicker in the instruments above.
Dramatic essay violin 2
Even as the main Allegro vivace body of the movement begins in the first violin, Beethoven cleverly withholds his true first theme for another twelve measures before allowing it to burst forth with unbridled exuberance in the upper three voices of the quartet. The robust disposition of the music wanes briefly in the development as Beethoven splinters the music, spreading it in unexpected ways between the instruments of the quartet before closing the first movement with a very brief coda.
Of the three Op. Or perhaps Ludwig van was showing the Russians that he could dish up a Russian sounding theme as good, if not better, than any Russian. When the viola gets the theme, the music is somewhat modified by the addition of unexpected accents and swells, creating a stormier mood. Eventually the first violin ushers in a more dance-like second theme that lifts the spirits of the music, and provides a much needed sense of hope. When the movement finally fades to a close, it ends as it began, with a simple pizzicato.
For the third movement, Beethoven chose to utilize the form of a minuet instead of a scherzo, which gave him the opportunity for grace and elegance instead of crackling energy.