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Beethoven, Bruch & Spohr

Beethoven: Romances Nos. 1 & 2

Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44

Spohr: Violin Concerto No. 8 in A minor, Op. 47 'in modo di scena cantante'

Jascha Heifetz (violin)
with LSO/Sargent & RCA Victor SO/Steinberg & Solomon

Naxos: 8111371

For many violinists Heifetz remains the bench-mark player of their instrument, and they will welcome some rarities in the most recent of Mark Obert-Thorn's scrupulous audio restorations.

Tully Potter provides comprehensive information about the genesis of these recordings of 1951-1954. The sound is good enough for repeated re-listening, and the accuracy of Heifetz's "superb intonation, perfectly judged romantic portamenti and unique tone colour" must be the despair of many aspiring violinists of today.

In my younger days the Bruch No 1's adagio was a regular broadcast favourite (on Doris Arnold's These You Have Loved radio programmes). But I don't recall ever having heard Bruch No 2, a strong and rewarding work which deserves to come (back?) into the repertoire. It is unusual in beginning with an extended slow movement, with faster ones to follow. I was less engaged by the Spohr, but it is always worth hearing unfamiliar music from bygone times.

An irresistible Naxos bargain.

Peter Grahame Woolf