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20th Century Romantic Violin Concertos / Louis Kaufman


Label:  Music & Arts   Catalog #: 667  
Composer:  Lars-Erik LarssonSamuel BarberRalph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Louis Kaufman
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Barber and Vaughn Williams are the familiar 1951 recordings for Concert Hall Society, frequently recoupled on Orion LPs and cassettes in the recent past, and sounding good here except for overload in the loudest passages and evidence of tape stretching in the opening of the Barber— really hardly needing Music & Arts's apologies about the sound. The Barber gets a warmly eloquent performance, with no effort to look for neoclassical roots; this is lush romanticism. The third movement is not the usual brainless perpetual motion, but amusingly eccentric and ever so slightly gimpy, an appropriate chaser to two movements of ardent song. The Vaughn Williams is infectiously enthusiastic, although Kaufman's hot vibrato and RVW's cool music Read more make an interesting contrast. Lars-Erik Larsson's (1906-1986) concerto is from a very fine 1955 mono Swedish Radio broadcast tape—as usual for Kaufman (see Fanfare 9:4, p. 78 and 13:4, p. 422), with the active participation of the composer. It is melodically tonal yet with a Scandinavian aloofness and calm offset by repressed temperament. A bucolic opening very quickly gives way to passages of great difficulty; André Gertler first played this music in 1952 (and contributed a cadenza) but in my mind I hear Heifetz—the long, involved, webbed lines call for sophisticated phrasings, with intense passages needing the smoothest execution of virtuoso music. They get it here from Kaufman. The second movement opens with distant, tolling horns (Nielsen's Symphony No. 5 came to mind); Kaufman's intense sound never lets the music go slack in the waltz-like center of this Andante pastorale. The third movement is of extraordinary difficulty yet always melodic, and Kaufman is searingly accurate. The music is larger in scope than Larsson's well-known series of concertinos, which gives the conflicting elements time to develop. The sound of the solo instrument and the orchestra is quite good for era and origin. Kaufman's approach to the violin has the right sweep and concentration for what Music & Arts rightly calls ' ' 20th Century Romantic Violin Concertos. ' ' This really is the best kind of historic reissue: the artist is honored, the music is done justice, an important piece enters the CD catalog, and the listener (assuming a toleration for something other than the last word in sonic splendor) isn't asked to suffer for it.

-- David K. Nelson, FANFARE [9/1991] Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin, Op. 42 by Lars-Erik Larsson
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1951-55 
2. Concerto for Violin, Op. 14 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Date of Recording: 1951-55 
3. Concerto for Violin in D minor "Concerto accademico" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Louis Kaufman (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924-1925; England 
Date of Recording: 1951-55 

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