Saturday, 20 December 2003

Spent around two hours transferring (with the new Terratec interface and software) and then listening to, Gioconda de Vito's 1952 performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto (Furtwängler conducting the Turin Radio Orchestra, public concert). Well, the sound wasn't too bad (though there is a lot of stage and audience noise). But the orchestral playing sounds amateur and under-rehearsed, and de Vito sounds technically below par. Bit of a disappointment. It was a relief to turn to Sergei Khachatryan playing the Sibelius violon concerto (Emmanuel Krivine and the Sinfonia Varsovia). Good to hear things in tune again !

With time, I have become very partial to Janacek's violin and piano sonata. It is both lyrical and passionate, tender and vivacious. A very fine new recording comes from the -- previously unknown to me -- Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau. I like the music (which also includes around 20 of the Shostakovitch preludes arranged by Tziganov and the Prokofiev first violin & piano sonata). The playing is exemplary by both parties. The balance is exactly how it should be. And the recording quality is excellent. A thoroughly enjoyable CD (Avie). But I am a little shocked by my rejection of my "historic" Brahms violin concerto.