LABELS: Coup d’Archet
PERFORMER: Johanna Martzy (violin), Jean Antonietti, István Hajdu (piano); Bavarian State RSO/Eugen Jochum
CATALOGUE NO: OUP CD 001-07 ADD mono/stereo
Unlike Levy, Hungarian violinist JOHANNA MARTZY (1924-79) gave many concerts to enthusiastic audiences, but her recordings were disappointingly few in number. To compensate, Coup d’Archet has issued seven discs of Martzy’s radio broadcasts spanning the years 1951-72.
Sound quality is highly variable and none of the discs offers generous playing time, but they reveal a strong player who achieves a unique blend of poise and piercing, ecstatic rapture.
Martzy does not beguile with intimate half-tints (thus potentially magical parts of Ravel’s Sonata seem a bit burly), and it’s difficult to know how good she could have been when her pianist on three of these discs is the prosaic Jean Antonietti.
But the coupling of Mozart and Bach concertos with Eugen Jochum (COUP CD 002) and the pair of unaccompanied Bach works (COUP CD 007) provide stellar performances by an underrated violinist – and the latter disc adds a valuable perspective to her famous Bach recordings for EMI..