Berg: Violin Concerto; Three Pieces for Orchestra; Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite

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COMPOSERS: Berg
LABELS: DG Classikon
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Three Pieces for Orchestra; Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite
PERFORMER: Henryk Szeryng (violin), Bavarian RSO/Rafael KubelíkBerlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: 439 435-2 ADD (1971-74)
The jewel in the crown in this exceptional compilation of Berg’s orchestral works must be Henryk Szeryng’s poetic account of the Violin Concerto. On first hearing, Szeryng might seem cool in comparison with the more emotionally overwrought Kyung Wha Chung or Anne-Sophie Mutter, but both he and Kubelík manage to find greater light and shade in this score than most interpreters. The 1971 recording may be somewhat limited in dynamic range, yet DG’s engineers achieve an unusually satisfactory balance between soloist and orchestra. They are perhaps less successful in coping with the overwhelming textures of the Three Orchestral Pieces. This hardly matters when Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic deliver a performance of devastating urgency. Erik Levi

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