DVORAK: Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53 – Edith Peinemann, violin/ Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/ Peter Maag – HDTT

by | Aug 16, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

DVORAK: Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53 – Edith Peinemann, violin/ Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/ Peter Maag

HDTT CD DVCPS  (www.highdeftapetransfers.com), 33:30 ***:

I well recall the DGG LP of this performance; if memory serves it was coupled with Ravel’s Tzigane. Peinemann appeared in Atlanta, where she played an embarrassingly short program of only the Bach E Major Concerto, some thirteen minutes worth of music. All she could recollect about having worked with Peter Maag was that he was Swiss.  She has a good, intelligent grasp of the Dvorak Concerto, though she plays it rather literally, without the exalted swagger Martzy or Milstein could elicit from the piece. What the HDTT processors have done is squeeze every orchestral nuance out of the master tapes, so that Dvorak’s lovely interior lines, especially in the flute part, emerge with crisp freshness, a series of pantheistic hymns.

Maag raises the musical bar, lingering over phrases, letting the tympani hold sway as it underscores the rhythmic thrust of the first movement. A decidedly marcato approach to the development section of the opening movement to the secondary theme, also taken slowly and delicately. Certainly under-playing the bravura aspects of the concerto, Peinemann and Maag relish its folkish, optimistic vistas. The Adagio ma non troppo might well have been scored as a concerto for violin and flute and French horn, maybe an outdoor serenade with violin obbligato. For all of her innate reserve, Peinemann’s tone is sweetly accurate. Oboe and tympani assert themselves effectively in the last movement, carried off with perhaps a bit more staid dignity than we require. The pastoral, drone effects play nicely with Maag’s splendidly responsive Czech Philharmonic, which unfortunately never recorded this piece with Talich at the helm. As cleanly rendered as both the performance and the CD processing are, I wonder, though, if a half-hour’s worth of great music will propel collectors to acquire this disc.  I’d love HDTT to ask me aboard their A&R team. 

[Note that your disc player must be able to play back CD-Rs in order to
play this disc; many older CD players cannot do so. But HDTT titles are
also available on DVD-video, which will play on any DVD player – except
that older players may downconvert the 96K signal to 48K (still better
than standard CD)…Ed.]

— Gary Lemco

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