Along with his friend Caruso, Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) was one of the superstars of the early gramophone era. He was “the master musician among the violinists of the day” (New York Times); he died 50 years ago (29 January 1962). As a composer, he is famous for his Viennese-style melodies, such as Liebesfreud and Liebesleid, for his notorious pieces “in the style of” various 18th-century masters (which he passed off as their original works, claiming to have rediscovered them in old manuscripts), and for his arrangements of well-known works by other composers.
Released to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Michael Rabin's death on 19th January 1972 this collection brings together his finest recordings on EMI Classics in one comprehensive 6CD set.
Rabin was widely regarded as the finest virtuoso violinist of his generation and despite dying at the young age of 36 after suffering with a neurological illness his fame continues long after his death.
Armando José Fernandes was a celebrated composer, musician and radio broadcaster in 20th-century Portugal. He was an integral member of the ‘Grupo dos Quatro’ – alongside Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Fernando Lopes-Graça and Pedro do Prado – which exerted substantial influential over Portuguese music in the mid-1900s.
The six Sonatas for solo violin of Eugène Ysaÿe are essential works in his catalog, inspired by the sonatas and partitas of J.S. Bach, and composed as a tribute to the violinists Joseph Szigeti, Jacques Thibaud, George Enescu, Fritz Kreisler, Mathieu Crickboom, and Manuel Quiroga. These pieces suggest a Janus-like combination of retrospection and the avant-garde, hearkening to the past through allusive figurations and direct quotations (e.g., references in the Sonata No. 2 to Bach's Partita No. 3 and the Dies Irae), but looking to the future in the use of extended violin techniques and novel sonorities. Alina Ibragimova's 2015 release on Hyperion is an absorbing performance, concentrated in tone and accomplished in technique, yet wonderfully ambiguous in expression, in keeping with Ysaÿe's quirky mix of playfulness and high-minded seriousness. Recorded in the concert hall of Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, in May 2014, Ibragimova has great clarity and presence, and the acoustics provide enough resonance to soften the violin's sometimes overly rosinous sound.
Success in Europe quickly followed and he appeared with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras as well as local orchestras in London, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Milan, Salzburg and Paris. It is from this time that the superb recordings in this 21-CD set were made. Here is a special selection of some of EMI's celebrated Furtwängler recordings, some recorded live at concerts and some made in the studios.
Legendary violinist David Oistrakh delivers a profoundly thrilling rendition of Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in D Major Op.61. Arguably, 1 of the best violin concertos ever composed, the esteemed violinist delivers with his flawless virtuosity & skillful execution. Remastered by 4 historic engineers, the sound is spacious & warm.
This little-known LP has what were probably Eddie South's final recordings. Although only 53 at the time, the talented violinist would pass away less than four years later. South, who is accompanied by either Ed Higgins or James Todd on piano, rhythm guitarist John Gray, bassist Johnnie Pate and sometimes drummer Al Duncan…
Admired by Schoenberg (who described him as ‘one of the most underestimated of modern composers’), Joseph Achron was a boundary defying violinist-composer of extraordinary gifts. He drew on his Jewish faith to profound effect, from the early influence of his cantor father to his enthusiastic championing of the Society for Jewish Folk Music (which did for Jewish music what Bartók did for Eastern European folk culture). It’s hardly surprising that much of Achron’s music is for violin—he was a consummate player himself and a prolific recitalist.