Notes & Reviews:
The transfer to CD of this early seventies recording is every bit as satisfying as that on the comparably magical Paganini recording reviewed on page 1222. Hearing these two recordings, both over ten years old, next to Perlman's Philadelphia recording of the Tchaikovsky (reviewed on page 1228), brings it home how, with analogue recording in the seventies, good engineering in a sympathetic venue was of vital importance in conveying realism. Like the Paganini this brings rich, full sound immediate and real, firm in perspective against an open, believable acoustic, all to the credit of Suvi Raj Grubb as producer and Bob Gooch as engineer. The version of No. 2 which Perlman recorded in Paris ten years later for DG is less sympathetic to my ear for all its brilliance in both sound and performance. It can be reasonably recommended if you want the Saint-Saens coupling, but for an apter coupling in a performance even more winning I would opt for the EMI disc with no feeling of losing out on quality of sound, rather the opposite.
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