MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216; BACH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041; Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major and more – Bronislaw Huberman, v. – Opus Kura

by | Jun 30, 2005 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216; BACH: Violin
Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041; Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major,
BWV 1042; Nun Komm‚ der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599; ELGAR: La Capricieuse,
Op. 17
 – Bronislaw Huberman, violin/Issay Dobrowen conducts Vienna
Philharmonic/S. Schultze, piano – Opus Kura 2025  62:56 
(Distrib. Albany)***:

For the most part, these restorations of the fine work of Polish violin
virtuoso Bronislaw Huberman (1882-1947) are quite good, with the
exception of some moments in the 1934 E Major Concerto, which suffer
dropout and severe crackle, presumably in the original shellacs. The
other Bach concerto and the Mozart G Major derive from the same
sessions in 1934 and couple Huberman with the talented Russian
conductor Issay Dobrowen (1891-1953), whose work in the recording
studio subsequently seems to have taken to hibernation, until his 1940s
collaborations in Beethoven with Schnabel for Electrola and strong
reappearance for Boris Gudonov in July 1952, along with some
Rimsky-Korsakov for EMI.

Huberman’s was not the most gracious tone nor the most reliable vocal
instrument, but he held a raw power of communication that was always
expressive and committed. His Brahms Concerto with John Barbirolli,
which had a brief shelf life on the pirate Rococo LP label, held a
special place for connoisseurs. The rare Elgar cut from 1935 has a
nervous innocence, and his Bach chorale-prelude from 1931 is rapt and
devotional. The Bach and Mozart concertos are stylish bravura escapades
in the old-school manner, less concerned with authenticity than with
brilliant projection of colors.  Rather gritty and impassioned,
the performances bespeak a glamour and cult of personality
conspicuously absent from the antiseptic correctness that plagues too
many modern renditions of this music.

–Gary Lemco
 

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