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Mischa Elman - 1961 BBC Recitals

Elman
Release Date: 02/14/2012 
Label:  Testament   Catalog #: 1475  
Composer:  Joseph AchronJohann Sebastian BachLudwig van BeethovenJohannes Brahms,   ... 
Performer:  Mischa ElmanJoseph Seiger
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


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These two newly released Mischa Elman BBC recitals from 1961 complement Testament’s earlier box devoted to the great Romantic violinist’s complete Decca recordings. They generally preserve Elman’s late-period artistry in fine form, and in good mono sound, for that matter. Beethoven’s “Spring” sonata proves slightly more animated here than on Decca. As a consequence, the first movement’s tempo gearshifts emerge less sectionalized, although the brief Scherzo’s syncopations line up less securely. The expansively phrased Handel D major sonata does not significantly differ in design and execution from Elman’s earlier Decca version, but the Vitali Chaconne benefits from more dynamic thrust and impassioned passagework
Read more from both Elman and his faithful accompanist Joseph Seiger. Of particular interest is the Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, which Elman otherwise did not record (he did tape the other two for Decca).

The performance stands out for the expressive specificity of Elman’s portamentos, and for the natural ebb and flow of his long-lined phrasing. The exuberant and spirited Gavotte from Bach’s E major partita provides a rare and lovable glimpse of Elman in unaccompanied Bach. Tully Potter’s frank and informative annotations rightly critique the Smetana Andantino’s lack of idiomatic verve, but listen to how Elman tosses off Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin with offhanded aplomb, subtle tonal inflections, and far less schmaltz than we might expect from this particular “old school” fiddler.

Testament’s special pricing for two CDs adds further value to a release that surely will attract collectors of historic violin material.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Hebrew Melody for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 33 by Joseph Achron
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; Poland 
2. Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
3. Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 3rd movement, Gavotte en rondeau by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
4. Sonata for Violin and Piano no 5 in F major, Op. 24 "Spring" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
5. Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in G major, Op. 78 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1879; Austria 
6. Airs Tziganes for violin & piano by Cesar Espejo
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1926 
7. Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in D major, HWV 371/Op. 1 no 13 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1750; London, England 
8. Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
9. Pieces (2) for Violin and Piano, T 128 "From my homeland": no 2 in G minor by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Czech Republic 
10. Chaconne in G minor by Tommaso Antonio Vitali
Performer:  Mischa Elman (Violin), Joseph Seiger (Piano)
Period: Baroque 

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