Notes and Editorial Reviews
Adolf Busch had been one of the highly celebrated violinists and greatly admired exponents of the Beethoven concerto in Europe before WWII, but had never recorded it prior to his emigration to the U.S. in 1939. After a period of relative neglect, he was invited by American Columbia to record the work in 1942, but the outcome was not a success. Critic Tully Potter tells the story in his linernotes: "On 7 and 8 February  the Busch brothers ... collaborated with the Philharmonic-Symphony, in the Beethoven Concerto, Adolf airing a new set of cadenzas written the previous year. ...the Saturday-evening interpretation gained mixed notices, the best being very good, the worst very bad; and perhaps the violinist was not at his best. Two critics indicated that he seemed nervous--hardly surprising, when it was his first performance for years of a work he had been accustomed to play almost every week. He was certainly in excellent form on the Sunday afternoon: the CBS network broadcast was taken down by at least two home recordists and one of those documents is here released for the first time. It makes an admirable corrective to the official Columbia recording, made next day at Liederkranz Hall. Unfortunately the production was delegated to the talented but inexperienced Goddard Lieberson. Busch was palpably under strain in the opening movement, his nervousness exacerbated by Lieberson's insisting he stand on a raised platform, which made him feel remote from his brother and the orchestra and brought him too close to the microphone. The resulting poor balance caused him to reject the recording and it was not issued until after his death. The live performance is everything one might expect." The fillers include a Bach concerto (in a minor) never commercially recorded by Busch.