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Violin Concertos


Sonata for Violin solo no 1 in G minor, BWV 1001: 1st movement, Adagio

Songs without words, vol 5, Opus 62: no 1, Andante espressivo in G major
Fritz Kreisler/Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Leo Blech
Naxos Historical 8.110909 78 mins.
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These are wonderful performances dating from 1926, splendidly restored by Mark Obert-Thorn, who descrbes himself as 'a moderate interventionist'. Kreisler's inimitable tone and phrasing, with portamento which was correct at that time, immediately brought back vivid recall of boarding-schooldays, out on the playing field with a wind-up gramophone, playing the 78s of these same performances on, sharpening thorn needles between the sides. They come up exactly as I remember them, clear and faithful to Kreisler's tone quality. I am unconvinced that the progress and the multiplicity of recordings of these favourites in the seven decades since then amounts to much!

Kreisler was the dedicatee of Elgar's violin concerto and gave its first performance in 1910 in London, where he was a great favourite. This generously filled CD includes two solos, the Adagio from Bach's Sonata No.1 in G minor, and a transcription of Mendelssohn's Song without Words Op. 62/1.

At bargain price it deserves a place on your shelf, hi-fi fanatic though you may be, and you might be surprised what a satisfying listening experience it offers.


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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