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ARSCLIST  August 2012

ARSCLIST August 2012

Subject:

Re: Beethoven Violin Concerto on YouTube

From:

Thomas Stern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 13:45:01 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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  Archipel CD 380   1952/1955
  http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=198702

also found this: http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=9560.30;wap2


-----------------------------------------------------
Sander Marcus on the Violinist.com site that wrote this review for the Francescatti/Ormandy CD.

It is as follows:-
Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 61, by Ludwig van Beethoven.  Zino Francescatti (Violin), Eugene Ormandy (Conductor),
Philadelphia Orchestra. Originally released as Columbia recording (ML 4371). New CD release, Biddulph #80205-2.

Many great violinists have recorded this masterpiece of the classical music literature, and each has had his or her own
interpretation. The recordings by a host of great artists have proven that there is more than one way to shed light on one of the
great masterpieces of all time.

However, this particular performance is my favorite recording of my favorite violin concerto played by one of my favorite
violinists.  And I'm in good company, because this recording was also a favorite of President Harry Truman.

Zino Francescatti made his classic concerto recordings in the early 1950's, just before the stereo era. Many of them are just
being re-issued now, and I think he will find a new audience for his unique sound and style of violin playing. To my ears, there
is no violinist playing today who sounds like Francescatti, and I really do miss his playing.

This mono recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto was made by Columbia in 1950, and has been out of print since the stereo era
began in the mid 1950's. But it has just been re-released (early 2004) on CD by Biddulph.

It probably was not re-released until now because it would compete with Francescatti's later stereo recording of the Beethoven
Concerto with Bruno Walter as Conductor.  The Walter recording (which has been available on CD for years) is wonderful, but there
is still something unique and special about the Francescatti/Ormandy pairing.

And there is also (currently available on CD) a Francescatti performance with Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic
recorded in a live performance in 1950.  The sound is not good, but the performance is wonderful, on a par with the Ormandy
recording.

Remarkably, although this performance was recorded in the studio, it was recorded in one take---no splicing, no re-takes, no
editing of the tape. And the performance reflects that sense of in-the-moment immediacy and spontaneity.

Except for one or two "whistled" notes, Francescatti's technique here is flawless. He plays the Beethoven Violin Concerto in an
exceptionally clean, sparkling, and direct manner. Francescatti's uniquely passionate tone, vibrato, and phrasing bring out the
singing line inherent in Beethoven's endless but brilliant use of scales and arpeggios as melodies.

And, for a violinist often criticized for playing without variety or subtlety, Francescatti adds so many small pauses and other
finer points of phrasing, while at the same time maintaining the innate pulse of the music, that the performance literally
"breathes." Every aspect of the phrasing "sounds right."

Francescatti also varies the many similar passages with selective uses of different types of bowing and articulation. His vibrato
and "voice" has a sparkle and directness that in my opinion has never been duplicated by any violinist in history.

The Kreisler cadenzas, played here with loving affection, sound at points like raindrops.  The tempo is just perfect. The ensemble
between Francescatti and Ormandy reflects singleness of purpose and a deep affection for the music. Eugene Ormandy was after all a
violinist, and the magnificent orchestral accompaniment here gives this performance the intimate quality of the kind of perfect
ensemble that characterizes chamber music.

Particularly in the first movement, where Beethoven employs a constantly overlapping 5-beat rhythm (in which the 5th beat of one
motif is simultaneously the 1st beat of the next), Francescatti and Ormandy create a seamless and serene quality.  It's like
listening to the auditory equivalent of skin, an organic unity in which there are no unique pieces and everything blends into
everything else. Francescatti's smooth performance links all of these elements and enhances this flowing quality.

But what characterizes this performance above all else is a simple, basic, emotional intangible ...  warmth.  From first note to
last, both the soloist and the orchestra project a gentle quality of emotional warmth, like an intimate caress and hug with one's
soulmate.  It is a musical performance with an imperishable inner glow that is so genuine and unaffected that the recording can
withstand endless hearings without losing its freshness and immediacy.

This is a truly unique, moving, and almost spiritual performance. With its long-overdue re-issue, perhaps now it will receive the
acclaim it deserves, and it should also make clear once and for all that Zino Francescatti was one of the greatest violinists of
all time. It should also make crystal clear the view that the Beethoven Violin Concerto is one of the supreme achievements of
Western civilization.
-----------------------------------------------------

Best wishes, Thomas.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Roger Kulp
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2012 12:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Beethoven Violin Concerto on YouTube



There is  this outstanding performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto I have just discovered.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epkviHdNMww

It's by Zino Francescatti,and The New York Philharmonic,under Dimitri Mitropoulos.It is obviously a concert recording.Can anybody
tell me when it was done,and if it was ever issued?

Roger

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