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Concert Magic / Yehudi Menuhin

Menuhin,Yehudi
Release Date: 09/20/2005 
Label:  Euroarts   Catalog #: 2054158  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachLudwig van BeethovenPietro Antonio LocatelliNiccolò Paganini,   ... 
Performer:  Yehudi MenuhinAdolph BallerEula BealJakob Gimpel,   ... 
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Whether or not the time had come for a movie like Concert Magic in 1948 (it had been filmed in the Charlie Chaplin studios in Hollywood in 1947), its re-release offers a glimpse of Yehudi Menuhin at a time when, as Tully Potter notes in the booklet, he had reached artistic maturity—and at a time when the problems that later beset his playing had not yet engulfed it. The camera, placed close to him, caught the intense vibrato (on all fingers, as he points out in the accompanying documentary interview, conducted by his biographer Humphrey Burton 50 years later) and the easy control of the bow that had formed the technical substrata of his charismatic violinistic personality. The repertoire he chose on this occasion demonstrated the flamboyant Read more (Wieniawski, Paganini, and Locatelli) as well as, within its limits, the more serious (Bach, Beethoven, and, to an extent, Schubert) side of his musical personality. By comparison, Jakob Gimpel (Bronislav’s older brother) and Eula Beal appear stiffer, not only physically but musically as well (Menuhin, in the interview, refers with great politeness to Beal’s simplicity and directness). In “Erbarme Dich” from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, for example, Menuhin’s throbbing tone captures the limelight. The show belongs to Menuhin, in fact, from start to finish. During the interview, he admits that he at least helped to find angels for the project, so he would perhaps have deserved the prominence he received even if he had not earned it musically, which, of course, he did handily. Although the program sparkles with good performances, highlights certainly include his breathtakingly fast reading of Wieniawski’s Scherzo-tarantelle—during the interview, he compared it favorably to Heifetz’s, which served as a sort of model. Unfortunately, the recorded sound doesn’t serve any of the performances or any of the timbres very well—the DVD provides primarily a documentary rather than an approximation, however remote, to the experience of hearing this concert live. But as a documentary, it would be hard to beat. The interview avoids both irrelevancies and any attempt on the part of the interviewer to show how much he knows about the subject (and, as a biographer, he must have known quite a bit). The new camera crew has captured Menuhin’s reactions to what appears to be his first viewing (he maintains that he had always preferred to look forward to the next performance rather than backward at the last) with a simplicity and fidelity equal to those of the crew that filmed the original “concert.” A German newspaper profile I read in the mid 1990s portrayed the aging Menuhin as an idealistic, remote, and abstract figure, withdrawn both intellectually and emotionally. But with something so concrete as these performances to which to react, he spoke perceptively and insightfully, with great modesty (he even called one of the readings a “good student performance”), and with a human warmth that belied the laser-like penetration of his gaze. Students of the violin in particular, students of music, and general audiences—all should find the combination of concert and commentary irresistible. In fact, many may find the documentary far more interesting, even from a purely musical point of view (due to Mehuhin’s illuminating commentary) than the original concert. At one point in the interview, Menuhin, discussing his concerts for troops during World War II, mentions the particular poignancy of playing in Honolulu. My father heard him there, in the evening after a lunchtime concert Menuhin had given at the Pearl Harbor Naval Yard. (As I mentioned in my review of Zino Bogachek’s recording of David Rubinoff’s music, a sailor there turned to my father and exclaimed, “Hey, this guy’s almost as good as Rubinoff!”) The event made a deep impression. So should this set. Concert magic, indeed.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 12 no 1: Allegro con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Adolph Baller (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798 
2.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 1st movement, Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 47, Erbarme dich by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Eula Beal (Alto)
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
5.
Scherzo-Tarantelle in G minor, Op. 16 by Henri Wieniawski
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Adolph Baller (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856 
6.
Concert Etudes (3) for Piano, S 144: no 3 in D flat Major, Un sospiro by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jakob Gimpel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1848; Weimar, Germany 
7.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 3 in E major, B 74 "Tristesse" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Jakob Gimpel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
8.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 8 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Jakob Gimpel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
9.
Etudes (3) for Piano, Op. 104b: no 2 in F major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Jakob Gimpel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834; Germany 
10.
Moto perpetuo for Violin and Orchestra in C major, Op. 11 by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Adolph Baller (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835 
11.
Caprices (24) for Violin solo, Op. 1: no 24 in A minor by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Adolph Baller (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1805; Italy 
Notes: Arranger: Fritz Kreisler 
12.
Der Erlkönig, D 328 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Eula Beal (Alto), Jakob Gimpel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Ellens Gesang III, D 839/Op. 52 no 6 "Ave Maria" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Adolph Baller (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Wilhemj 
14.
Songs (6), Op. 6: no 6, None but the lonely heart by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Eula Beal (Alto), Marguerite Campbell (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; Russia 
15.
L'arte del violino, Op. 3: Concerto no 12 in D major "Il Laberinto Armonico" by Pietro Antonio Locatelli
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin), Adolph Baller (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; Italy 
Notes: Arranger: David 

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