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Bruch, Vieuxtemps: Concertos / Heifetz, Sargent, Et Al


Release Date: 02/07/2006 
Label:  Rca Victor Living Stereo Catalog #: 71622   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Max BruchHenri Vieuxtemps
Performer:  Jascha HeifetzOsian Ellis
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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SuperAudio CD:  $11.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

2960620.az_BRUCH_Violin_Concerto

BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1. Scottish Fantasy VIEUXTEMPS Violin Concerto No. 5 Jascha Heifetz (vn); Malcolm Sargent, cond; New SO of London RCA 71622 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 65:20)


When this recording was made in the early 1960s, Bruch’s First Violin Concerto ranked with the most popular concertos in the repertoire, and this version dominated the field—in addition to making the Scottish Fantasy a major work for many people, myself included. There was simply no one who could play this florid Romantic music like Heifetz. Although the mastery of his performances of war-horses like the Beethoven, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky concertos was virtually assumed, this recording and his stunning mono version of the Korngold Violin Concerto said even more about the artistry and influence of Heifetz. Tempos in the Bruch works are considerably faster than you are likely to hear now, as was the custom in the 1950s. In the Concerto, Sir Malcom Sargent generally plays the purely orchestral passages more swiftly than when he is accompanying Heifetz. This introduces an element of drama that is missing in performances that reduce the music to a syrupy wallow in slow romantic schmaltz. As a result, both the Concerto and the Scottish Fantasy gain in stature. Despite the relatively rapid tempos, the music never sounds rushed.


The Vieuxtemps Concerto is little more than an exercise in technique with a couple of nice melodies, but Heifetz makes it sound like a minor masterpiece. Make no mistake though. This recording is about the Bruch pieces, and they have never sounded better. They have also never sounded better in a digital format. Some of Heifetz’s three-channel recordings (for example, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto SACD) utilized the third channel to spotlight the soloist, producing the highly undesirable effect of unnaturally detaching him from the orchestra in a way you would never hear in the concert hall. In this spectacularly transparent but not at all harsh two-channel recording, both soloist and orchestra are miked closely, giving a front row perspective. It is breathtaking the way Heifetz occupies his own air space, but remains realistically blended with the orchestra. True, his luscious instrument is a bit bigger than life, but so is his performance. The clarity of the orchestral instruments in this recording is stunning. Just listen to the soft shimmer of the cymbals and the immaculate detail of every note of Osian Ellis’s harp without any unnatural spotlighting in the opening slow movement of the Scottish Fantasy .


What else can I say? Only that this is the finest recording of Bruch’s masterpieces ever made in terms of both performance and sound.


FANFARE: Arthur Lintgen
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in G minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1962 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England 
Length: 22 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 46 by Max Bruch
Performer:  Osian Ellis (Harp), Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Liverpool, England 
Date of Recording: 05/1961 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England 
Length: 25 Minutes 43 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin no 5 in A minor, Op. 37 "Grétry" by Henri Vieuxtemps
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861; Belgium 
Date of Recording: 05/1961 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England 
Length: 17 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Disappointing September 6, 2012 By B. Ancrum (Lake Wylie, SC) See All My Reviews "In this recording, the artistry is unquestionably excellent. The recording itself is poorly done, (possibly because it is a remastering of a live performance?) You have to turn the volume up quite loud to hear most parts of it, then down again to keep from blasting your ears off for other parts. I may be able to use it in the car, where the volume control is at my fingertips, but for the most part I do not recommend it." Report Abuse
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