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Great Violinists - Louis Kaufman - Vivaldi


Release Date: 01/18/2005 
Label:  Naxos Historical Catalog #: 8110297-98   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Edouard Nies-BergerLouis KaufmanEdith Weiss-MannPeter Rybar
Conductor:  Henry SwobodaClemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Hall Chamber OrchestraWinterthur Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In an era of what seems like reactionary experimentation, it may come as a surprise to return to the first recordings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, a set of rhythmically intoxicating and piquantly descriptive violin concertos that’s been vilified and scorned by everyone but audiences, performers, and record companies. Louis Kaufman’s pioneering recording of these concertos, from 1947, brought Vivaldi to life after centuries of slumber. I remember an earlier generation’s Vivaldi sweatshirts and recordings by Virtuosi di Roma and other Italian groups—and this one by Kaufman, which my father’s violin teacher lent me. The notes mention that Concert Hall had issued a blue and a red set of these recordings—I heard the blue one (I think). The Read more unprepossessing recorded sound diminished the pleasure of listening to it, but I had a connection to Louis Kaufman that lent the set intense interest anyway. In the intervening years, I’ve listened to dozens of performances and recordings of these pieces, played almost all the parts, and taught them to both violin and harmony students. Listening again to these performances provides a jolting discovery. Kaufman’s Romantic portamentos in the slow movements aside, his pointed rhythmic verve makes him sound as punk as Enrico Onofri and Il Giardino Armonico. The Concert Hall Orchestra’s continuo (Kaufman recorded the Four Seasons in Carnegie Hall in 1947, then looked for the rest of the concertos, which he recorded, also for Concert Hall, in Zurich in 1950) included organ and harpsichord, the latter instrument throbbingly obvious in movements like “Autumn”’s Adagio. And the slow movements, though sometimes more swooping than recent tastes might approve, also can be compelling, like the Largo from the Ninth Concerto, while Kaufman makes the brilliant finale of the Eighth Concerto a showcase for his dashing technique in a way that few I’ve heard have matched. It appears, then, that groups characterized by a stiffer, stodgier sonorousness and lacking Kaufman’s showmanlike way with these concertos, eventually hijacked Vivaldi and that it took almost 50 years to get the composer back on Kaufman’s track.

For those to whom it will matter, Naxos’s restoration offers clean versions without the background noise that made listening to the early Concert Hall Four Seasons a painful if fascinating experience. While Four Seasons still sound tubby, the concertos from 1950 offer more sharply etched detail. The notes by Lance Bowling provide details of the circumstances under which these legendary recordings (Grand Prix du Disque in 1950, Grammy® Hall of Fame in 2002, and Library Of Congress National Recording Registry in 2003) came to be made; a producer’s note describes the varied source materials for the re-masterings; and the booklet includes copious details about recording schedules. Nobody who has even the remotest interest in Vivaldi or the Four Seasons—or these early recordings—should be without this bedrock set. But even an explorer approaching Vivaldi for the first time and more concerned with brilliant performance than brilliant recorded sound, might acquire this historic set as a thoroughly engaging introduction. This kind of release defines the annual Want List. Recommended with the very highest urgency.

Robert Maxham, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (4) for Violin, Op. 8 no 1-4 "Four seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Edouard Nies-Berger (Organ), Louis Kaufman (Violin), Edith Weiss-Mann (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Henry Swoboda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Hall Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Notes: Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA (12/25/1947 - 12/31/1947) 
2.
Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Edith Weiss-Mann (Harpsichord), Edouard Nies-Berger (Organ), Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Henry Swoboda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Hall Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Length: 9 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA (12/25/1947 - 12/31/1947) 
3.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 2/RV 315 "L'estate" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin), Edith Weiss-Mann (Harpsichord), Edouard Nies-Berger (Organ)
Conductor:  Henry Swoboda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Hall Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Length: 9 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA (12/25/1947 - 12/31/1947) 
4.
Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Edouard Nies-Berger (Organ), Louis Kaufman (Violin), Edith Weiss-Mann (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Henry Swoboda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Hall Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA (12/25/1947 - 12/31/1947) 
5.
Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Edith Weiss-Mann (Harpsichord), Edouard Nies-Berger (Organ), Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Henry Swoboda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Hall Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA 
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA (12/25/1947 - 12/31/1947) 
6.
Concerto for Violin in E flat major, Op. 8 no 5/RV 253 "La tempesta di mare" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/04/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 9 Minutes 21 Secs. 
7.
Concerto for Violin in C major, Op. 8 no 6/RV 180 "Il piacere" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/08/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 
8.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 no 7/RV 242 "Per Pisendel" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/08/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 7 Minutes 54 Secs. 
9.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 8/RV 332 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 9 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerland (08/05/1950 - 08/08/1950) 
10.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 no 9/RV 236 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/04/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Violin in B flat major, Op. 8 no 10/RV 362 "La caccia" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/04/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 8 Minutes 3 Secs. 
12.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 8 no 11/RV 210 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/04/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 12 Minutes 40 Secs. 
13.
Concerto for Violin in C major, Op. 8 no 12/RV 178 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 8 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerland (08/04/1950 - 08/05/1950) 
14.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D major, RV 513 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin), Peter Rybar (Violin)
Conductor:  Clemens Dahinden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1950 
Venue:  Ballroom, Dolder Hotel, Zurich, Switzerl 
Length: 15 Minutes 6 Secs. 

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