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Brahms: Violinkonzert, Op. 77 / Ginette Neveu, Schmidt-isserstedt

Brahms / Neveu / Schmidt-isserstedt
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Acanta/Pilz   Catalog #: 233585   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Ginette Neveu
Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 0 Hours 40 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BRAHMS Violin Concerto Ginette Neveu (vn); Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, cond; North German RSO ACANTA 233585, mono (40:05) Live: Hamburg 5/3/1948

This is an absolutely splendid reissue of Neveu’s May 1948 performance of the Brahms Concerto. Those already familiar with this version don’t need to be told of its virtues, which include a wonderful singing tone, impassioned playing without any rough bowing, and an almost transcendent luminosity to Neveu’s phrasing, but it should be pointed out that this live Read more performance is even more spacious and, in places, more intense than her 1946 studio recording.

Apparently, after her EMI recording with Issay Dobrowen, Neveu became something of a specialist in this concerto. In addition to this Schmidt-Isserstedt performance, part of which (17 minutes’ worth) also came out on In Memoriam Ginette Neveu (Tahra 684), there’s another 1948 performance with Roger Désormière and the Orchestre National de France (issued in 2012 on Tahra, which I haven’t heard) and a June 1949 performance with Antal Doráti conducting the Hague Residentie Orchestra on Music & Arts 4837. The sound on this Acanta release borders on the spectacular for a 1948 broadcast: spacious, clear, and warm all at the same time. It doesn’t sound so much as if she is in the room with you than as if you are at the concert hall listening to her play. Seldom has Neveu’s sound been captured so realistically, thus for her many fans this should be a must-get item. My lone complaint is that, at 40 minutes, it’s a pretty short CD for the money. The previous release of this version, in 2002 on Tahra 465, also included her performance of the Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 with Jean Neveu as pianist. Since that disc is selling for $8.99 at Amazon as an mp3 download, if you like that sort of thing it’s a better buy, but I can’t vouch for the sound quality.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Ginette Neveu (Violin)
Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/03/1948 
Venue:  Hamburger Musikhalle 
Length: 39 Minutes 21 Secs. 

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