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ELGAR / WALTON: Violin Concertos (Heifetz) (1941, 1949)

Composer(s):Elgar, EdwardWalton, William
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Concertos
Catalogue 8.110939
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps
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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Jascha Heifetz’s unique reading of the Elgar is well transferred on Naxos in mellower sound than on previous RCA transfers. The ease of his virtuosity leads to dazzling bravura at speeds faster than usual, bringing a rare volatile quality in music that can easily seem a struggle. Ye that ease goes with a passionate warmth in Elgar’s great lyrical moments, with wide vibrato perfectly controlled, and with high harmonics ethereally pure. The great second-subject melody in the more tenderly poignant for flowing easily. Heifetz treats the slow movement as a lyrical interlude, before the brilliant display of the finale leads to a deeply reflective account of the unaccompanied cadenza. Any idea of Heifetz as a chilly interpreter is firmly rebutted. Good (1949) mono sound.

Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Jascha Heifetz made the very first recording in 1941 with Eugene Goossens and the Cincinnati Orchestra, and it has never quite been matched since fro its passionate urgency as well as its brilliance. Speeds are much faster than has latterly become the norm, but the romantic warmth of the work has never been more richly conveyed. On Biddulph in an excellent CD transfer it is coupled with the early recording of the original score of Vaughan Williams’s London Symphony, plus other British music.

The alternative Naxos transfer, less bright than RCA’s original, is well balanced, making for comfortable listening. The generous Elgar coupling confirms this as in every way a winner.

Review By Michael Anthony,StarTribune,May 2001

"Heifetz looms large in 2001, the centennial of his birth. An online auction house sold off a cache of Heifetz memorabilia in February, including the alligator briefcase he used to carry his music; next month, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival will devote two weeks of concerts, repertoire and films to Heifetz.

"And now in record stores on the budget-priced Naxos label are seven CDs containing many of the violinist's early concerto recordings and shorter pieces supported by some of the foremost conductors of the 20th century: Arturo Toscanini, John Barbirolli, Thomas Beecham and Pierre Monteux among them....


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