One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

/


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto in D Op. 61 (1806) [44:06]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Concerto in D Op. 77 (1878) [40:14]
Ginette Neveu (violin)
SWDR Orchestra/Hans Rosbaud (Beethoven)
Orchestre National de France/Roger Desormière (Brahms)
rec. 25 April 1948 (Brahms), 25 September 1949 (Beethoven), Baden-Baden, Kurhaus
SWR MUSIC 19018CD [40:14 + 44:06]

These broadcast performances have been released before. The Beethoven with Rosbaud shows a characterful sensitivity and sweetness to Neveu’s playing in the first movement of this 1949 traversal—the odd intonational lapse aside—even if the recording itself is rather close up, sufficient at any rate to catch the violinist’s constant sniffing. Rosbaud characterizes the brass behind her from around 13.00 with insistent unease—indeed he points up myriad little cogent architectural-expressive details, exploring the turbulence of the work in a way few other conductors manage. One of Neveu’s few besetting faults was a tendency to rush bars and she does so here just before the cadenza but her subsequent control is one of real strength and pliancy, terracing her dynamics accordingly and ending the movement with strength. In the slow movement one can best appreciate Neveu’s strikingly Gallic use of vibrancy and colour. Intensely expressive at a relatively slow tempo with perfectly judged diminuendos, her vibrato usage here is charged both with depth but also with speed change. Her slides are affecting, though perhaps a little out of style for this period. All is affectionate, if leisurely, with some irresistible lift and life in the playing. Strong contouring comes from the conductor—but there are some signs that Neveu is tiring toward the end with occasionally loose playing. Still this is a marvelous example of her musicianship caught on the wing.

Desormière’s conducting of the Brahms Concerto is a striking example of subjective intelligence. He indulges some very extreme tempo rubato in the orchestral introduction—full of flexibility and elasticity of phrasing. Neveu is, as with her commercial disc, intense and propulsive in this work She vests her line with some succulent phrasing, big boned, and portamenti feature strongly amongst her arsenal of inflective devices. Maybe there’s a temporary lack of orchestral clarity from 8.30 onwards and Neveu is still inclined to jump her bars once or twice but this is still a formidable pairing of talents. The recording overloads at fortissimi from time to time but only the super scrupulous will mind. Her colouristic palette reigns in the slow movement though possibly some might find her a little glutinous at certain moments. There is once more overload in the finale—percussion his time—but this is strong, agile and commanding playing even if, so far as I’m concerned, there is also a hint of rhythmic unsteadiness as well.

There isn’t much audible difference between these restorations and those on Music and Arts CD550, which has just the Beethoven, and Tahra 2.355-2.357, which houses both concerto performances and much more besides. The same rapid flickering sound in the Beethoven has been preserved, and so have other spillages and noises off. However, the sound is perfectly acceptable for the vintage and allows one to concentrate on the spellbinding association between a great violinist and her two perceptive conducting colleagues.

Jonathan Woolf



 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical

alpha_classics.com
Alpha Classics
a new advertiser

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger