Brahms: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto

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LABELS: Philips Solo
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto
PERFORMER: Henryk Szeryng (violin), János Starker (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: 446 194-2 ADD (1971/74)
Szeryng and Haitink’s vision of this greatest of Romantic violin concertos is paradoxically Classical: measured, immensely dignified, warm and rational. Pyrotechnics are off the menu: but the sacrifice is worth making for a performance of perfect control and unity between orchestra and soloist. Only in the final movement could one wish for a little more recklessness. The Double Concerto, written nearly a decade later, is Brahms’s turbulent farewell to orchestral composition and is properly given a different treatment. János Starker sets a tone of anguish readily matched by Szeryng, whose accomplishments on this disc can scarcely be exaggerated. Christopher Wood