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Violin Concerto Op. 77; Violin

Amsterdam; Haitink Szeryng; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra , Brahms; Mendelssohn Audio CD

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Szeryng at his best Sept. 19 2011
By D. R. Schryer - Published on Amazon.com
Henryk Szeryng was one of the greatest violinists of the recorded era. Although he had an awesome technique, he consistently restrained it in the service of artistic, rather than virtuosic, performances. The concertos on this CD are consistent with this philosophy of Szeryng's. For many years I didn't think that I liked the Brahms violin concerto. But then I heard Szeryng perform it and realized that it is a masterpiece. I have always loved the Mendelssohn concerto -- and have a slight preference for Gil Shaham's recording of it -- but Szeryng certainly does not disappoint. No matter how many versions you may have of these concertos, please do yourself a favor and hear them as played by Szeryng -- especially the Brahms.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inimitable Henryk Szeryng May 24 2011
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Violinist Henryk Szeryng (1918-1988) played the Brahms Concerto innumerable times, the last time only two days before his death in 1988. He made commercial recordings of the work at least at least six times with such conductors as Pierre Monteux, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Antal Dorati, Rafael Kubelik and Erich Leinsdorf. (There are probably other recordings that I am unaware of.) There is also a DVD of him performing it with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra under Paul Paray, from 1962; it is great to see Szeryng play on the DVD but the orchestral performance and the sound of the recording leave something to be desired. The present performance, recorded in 1973, is the last of all these. The orchestra is the great Concertgebouw under Bernard Haitink. And this performance is patrician in its impact, a perfect approach to this noble concerto. He is given extraordinarily sensitive support by the orchestra in a reading that is gentle and aristocratic. This performance and that of the Mendelssohn have been released before, originally on the Philips label, still available Brahms Violin Concerto in D, Op.77: Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64. This Newton Classics release has been remastered and is in quite good sound.

Strangely, the ever-popular Mendelssohn Concerto didn't figure as prominently in Szeryng's discography. He only recorded it twice, once in 1964 with Antal Dorati and the London Symphony Orchestra (then in especially fine shape) and then with Haitink and the Concertgebouw (1976). (Again, there may be others that I am unaware of. I think there may have been recordings with André Cluytens and Serge Baudo but I've never encountered them.) Of these the Haitink is the latest recording. Again, this was issued on Philips and is now remastered by the newish Newton Classics label. The first movement itself is sweetly lyrical, the nostalgic Andante almost guaranteed to bring a lump to one's throat and a Hungarian-tinged third movement that doesn't become hysterical as in some performances. The Concertgebouw manages to sound almost French in their delicacy. A wonderful recording.

TT=70:10

Enthusiastically recommended.

Scott Morrison
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good performances and sound in this welcome reissue March 17 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
Although I hate even to use the term "old-fashioned" to describe Szeryng and Haitink's collaboration in the Mendelssohn because it tends to conjure up the wrong image in some minds, it is still the best way to characterize the performance. Yes, the sound of the violin and orchestra are rich and resonant and ravishing, yet the interpretation itself is somewhat straightforward and unadorned. Still, it is a fulfilling interpretation and easy to hear again and again.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brahms Mendelssohn Violin Concertos Henryk Szeryng June 7 2011
By She Ra - Published on Amazon.com
This is a beautiful recording. There is a wide range of volume and intensity and the soloist exhibits amazing technical ability. It is a treat for the senses.

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