As part of Chandos Tribute to Lydia Mordkovitch, this re-issue features Bruch’s Violin Concertos Nos 2 and 3 performed by Lydia Mordkovitch with Richard Hickox and the London Symphony Orchestra. Both were recorded in 1998 in Blackheath Halls in London.
These are the best reproductions I have ever heard of these famous recordings. All credit to Mark Obert-Thorn, who created them from pre-war US Victor sets. In the early days of audio tape and long playing records, it was rumoured that the original masters of the Elgar concerto in the EMI vaults had been destroyed after a transfer to audio tape had been deemed satisfactory. True, the audio tape transfers when issued on LP sounded good enough, but many music lovers regretted that future processing work on the original masters was no longer an option. Well, here in a new century and at the price of a cup of coffee and a sandwich are miracles of sound reproduction that banish all regrets. Of all the recordings Elgar made of his music, this is the one that has the least "historic" sound to modern ears. String playing in the old-fashioned "slide from note to note" way was apparently something Elgar allowed or encouraged when he recorded his orchestral works, but it is barely evident here, and even less so in the playing of the young Yehudi Menuhin. The recording of the Bruch Concerto, an all round success, was made in London's Small Queen's Hall in 1931 and was, I believe, Menuhin's first concerto recording.
This cd really is a wonder. the mendelssohn and bruch concertos have never received such wonderful treatment as kennedy lavishes, in this all-round flawless cd. the pace of the pieces is just perfect, never rushed but never languid, and the technical skill of kennedy is, as ever, second to none. the intonation is absolutely spot on in all 3 performances. as for expression and tone, in my opinion no-one does it better than kennedy. just listen to the opening bars of the mendelssohn for evidence
those who dismiss kennedy as all image should listen to this and rethink. he really is a violin genius, and theres no clearer indication than on this disc. i cannot recommend it highly enough
The Gemini Series features an impressive roster of singers, conductors, soloists, and ensembles of international renown, all from the incomparable EMI Classics stable. EMI's rich legacy of recording expertise comes to the fore in performances from the 1960s to the 1990s. Gemini titles are predominantly collections of single composers and fantastic value with well over an hour of music on each CD, making them the ideal place to start or develop a collection of classical music. Each 2-CD set contains over two hours of music for a fantastically low price. Attractively designed and packaged in space-saving brilliant boxes, each set includes three-language booklets with detailed notes on the music.