Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Overtures

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: DG Galleria
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Overtures
PERFORMER: Christian Ferras (violin); Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: 437 644-2 ADD (1967/70)
The concerto is miles too slow, although the silken thread of Ferras’s tone is worth sampling and there’s something rather comforting about Karajan’s stoical, gold-plated accompaniment. The overtures, though, are grandly exuberant, while the transfers from so-so analogue (non-digital) tapes work quite well. Half a bargain, then, but if you especially want the concerto, wait for Heifetz’s version (with Charles Munch conducting), forthcoming soon in RCA’s mid-price ‘Living Stereo’ series. Robert Cowan