Handel, Hindemith, Leclair, Paganini, Bloch, Sarasate, Falla, Ben-Haim & Bazzini

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Ben-Haim & Bazzini,Bloch,Falla,Handel,Hindemith,Leclair,Paganini,Sarasate
ALBUM TITLE: Itzhak Perlman Rediscovered
WORKS: Works by Handel, Hindemith, Leclair, Paganini, Bloch, Sarasate, Falla, Ben-Haim & Bazzini
PERFORMER: Itzhak Perlman (violin), David Garvey (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 82876 62517 2
Recorded in 1965, this was intended as Itzhak Perlman’s debut album, but was supplanted by something more ‘serious’, and has only just seen the light of day. Aren’t the ways of record companies strange? The variety of colour in the playing, let alone the sheer technique on show, could only have enhanced the 20-year-old’s already burgeoning reputation. Three of the Paganini Caprices are even more impetuous than in his later complete recording, and contrast nicely with the Berceuse sfaradite by Paul Ben-Haim, where Perlman spins a line of melting tenderness. There are more fireworks in Sarasate’s Navarra, double-tracked with assured virtuosity, and in Bazzini’s Ronde des lutins, with bow flying as it ricochets off the strings. Eyebrows might be raised nowadays at the Handel and Leclair Sonatas, but Perlman was following a long tradition of performing them with piano – it was good enough for Heifetz and Menuhin. His tone and vibrato are old-fashioned in the best and most musical sense, with lightness and neat ornamentation in the faster movements. And the early Hindemith Sonata has a Romantic warmth well in accord with the echoes of Brahms in its melodies and textures. The recording is slightly dry – but lovers of the violin shouldn’t hesitate. Martin Cotton