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Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov: Violin Concertos


Release Date: 10/03/2006 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 61591   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jean SibeliusPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyAlexander Glazunov
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
Conductor:  Sir Thomas BeechamSir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Three classic readings by virtuoso Heifetz at the height of his powers. A bargain not to be missed.

Heifetz was born in 1900 in Vilnius, Lithuania and thus was in his mid-thirties at the time of these recordings and arguably at the peak of his career. He had played the Tchaikovsky Concerto in Berlin under Nikisch in 1912, after entering the St Petersburg Conservatory, aged just 10!

As Tully Potter remarks, “Jascha Heifetz was the violinist’s violinist, acknowledged by his peers for his tonal brilliance, sensual cantilena and exceptional technical polish. At best, he played the concerto and sonata repertoire with a strong command of structure, coupled with minute attention to detail. He held the violin high
Read more and flat, and kept his right elbow particularly high, which enabled him to exert maximum bow pressure …”

Heifetz had actually recorded the Sibelius Concerto with Leopold Stokowski in Philadelphia but there was a lack of chemistry between conductor and soloist and the result was a disappointment. In late 1935, Heifetz’s second attempt with the much more committed and sympathetic Sibelian conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, was received with delight by fans of the composer around the world. Indeed this recording is still held in the utmost esteem, some pundits even going so far as to claim it has never been surpassed. Certainly, hearing it today one is bowled over by its glorious sonorities, warmth and tenderness and flawless intonation and its dramatic intensity. The engineered sound, impressive for its day, has been cleanly digitally refurbished for enhanced clarity with the soloist well spotlit.

Heifetz’s virtuoso reading of the technically taxing Tchaikovsky Concerto is tremendously exciting and emotionally charged - how beautifully tender is the Andante - and he receives fine support from fellow string player, the former cellist, Sir John Barbirolli. The orchestral sound is not quite so well focussed but the ear soon adjusts.

Although Heifetz’s fellow Auer pupil, Nathan Milstein, had a closer connection with Glazunov, he was recognised as the other great interpreter of this lovely work. Heifetz’s effortless, silken virtuosity fills a reading that fully realises the Glazunov Concerto’s sweet nostalgia and gentle regret, its passions and the robust joys of its Finale.

Three classic readings by virtuoso Heifetz at the height of his powers. A bargain not to be missed.

-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Finland 
Date of Recording: 11/26/1935 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 28 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: This selection was the premier recording of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. 
2.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/25/1937 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 31 Minutes 37 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 82 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Jascha Heifetz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/28/1934 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 20 Minutes 10 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47 (2006 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47 (2006 Digital Remaster): II. Adagio di molto
Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47 (2006 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro ma non tanto
Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35 (2006 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35 (2006 Digital Remaster): II. Canzonetta (Andante)
Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35 (2006 Digital Remaster): III. Finale (Allegro vivacissimo)
Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82 (2006 Digital Remaster): Moderato -
Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82 (2006 Digital Remaster): Andante -
Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82 (2006 Digital Remaster): Cadenza -
Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82 (2006 Digital Remaster): Animando

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