Notes and Editorial Reviews
"No performance of the Walton concerto could possibly be more authentic than that captured by this 1950 recording. The work was commissioned by Heifetz, and suited his style and musical personality to perfection. His playing is technically superlative, gloriously passionate, virile and exciting. Walton was an admirable conductor of his own work at this period, and he and the vintage Philharmonia are inspired partners for Heifetz. The sound is very good for its period, cleaner and clearer than on the two previous British LP editions, but with a very slight background hum now discernable. One previously evident flaw in the mastertape, not unfortunately corrected in the digital remastering process, is the slight but abrupt rise in pitch at 2'58'' in the third movement.
On the face of it Heifetz would not seem to be so well suited to Elgar's deeply romantic masterpiece, but the great violinist responds particularly well to the composer's large-scale style in the first movement, where his playing is heartfelt, idiomatic, totally secure and well balanced. Some critics have found Heifetz's playing of the slow movement lacking in a sense of repose, but I find his questing, slightly unquiet response to the music not at all at odds with Elgar's vision. And the formidable challenges of the finale are triumphantly conquered. With such an experienced Elgarian as Sargent at the LSO's helm this is a deeply rewarding performance. Again, the sound is pretty good for 1949, but there is a little background noise. Nowhere does the printed information state that these are, of course, both mono recordings.
Only hi-fi fanatics should avoid these two superb performances..."
-- Gramophone [3/1989]