Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D; Romance No. 1 in G; Romance No. 2 in F

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Violin Concerto in D; Romance No. 1 in G; Romance No. 2 in F
PERFORMER: Arthur Grumiaux (violin); Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra/Colin Davis, Philharmonia Orchestra/Edo de Waart
CATALOGUE NO: 420 348-2 ADD Reissue (1974, 1971)
Three violinists taped Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in Amsterdam for Philips during the early Seventies. Henryk Szeryng’s patrician collaboration with Bernard Haitink was joined by a scholarly traversal from Concertgebouw concertmaster Herman Krebbers and this newly reissued performance by silver-toned Belgian virtuoso Arthur Grumiaux. But Szeryng’s gravitas and intellectual ferocity still affords greatest insight into this touchstone among violin concertos. Krebbers is less compelling than Grumiaux, whose refined Classical intimacy pleases nonetheless. Some residual tape-hiss remains, but is far more problematic with Wolfgang Schneiderhan’s 1961 DG Originals version. Szeryng, incidentally, plays Joachim’s cadenzas rather than Kreisler’s more familiar alternatives, adding further distinction to his benchmark account. Michael Jameson