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Brahms, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Szeryng

Audio Samples

>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Concerto for Violin in D minor

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Concerto for Violin in D minor
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"The lyricism of the first two movements is polished and intimate (the high-lying cantilene especially finely drawn) ... The new performance ... is spaciously conceived, with Haitink precisely and punctiliously attending to the soloist's every need. In the first movement the broad tempo is offset by the brilliance of Szeryng's playing; in the finale everything is gratifyingly alert, stylish and unrushed." - Gramophone

Though Mendelssohn was considered by many to be a classicist, his E minor Violin Concerto was innovative in many ways, including dispensing with the opening ritornello. The old-fashioned Brahms, on the other hand, opened his 1878 Violin Concerto with an expansive ritornello. Both masterpieces have become cornerstones of the violin repertoire. These recordings were made in the warm and resonant Concertgebouw Hall in 1973 (Brahms) and 1976 (Mendelssohn).

BBC Music Magazine
Szeryng brings an aristrocratic poise to the Brahms and a touch of fantasy to the Mendelssohn; his tone is ravishing. Impeccable, insightful performances.

Classical Candor
The sound in both works is typical of what Philips was doing with the Concertgebouw in the late Sixties and Seventies. These recordings, made in 1974 (Brahms) and 1977 (Mendelssohn) feature a big, spacious, concert-hall acoustic, with a wonderful ambient bloom that makes them sound most realistic. They also display a fine midrange clarity, a wide dynamic range, and at least adequate if not quite exemplary high treble and deep bass. If there is any minor issue, it is that the upper midrange and lower treble can be a bit more forward in the Brahms than one may like, which is fine for the solo violin, giving it an extra sheen, but makes massed strings seem a bit overbright. Nevertheless, it's a small matter when the rest of the sonics are so persuasive.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grote Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77
  • Performer: Henryk Szeryng (Violin)
  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Running Time: 41 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1878

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Concerto for Violin in D minor
  • Performer: Henryk Szeryng (Violin)
  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Running Time: 28 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 09/16/1844