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Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Sinding: Suite – Itzhak Perlman, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96Hz]

Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Sinding: Suite – Itzhak Perlman, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 00:45:03 minutes | 830 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0vuz | Front Cover | © Warner Classics
Recorded: Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, USA, 23 & 24 February 1979

Jascha Heifetz (1901–1987), whose style and repertoire exerted a decisive influence on most twentieth-century violinists, had an insatiable curiosity for discovering and rehabilitating long-forgotten works. We have Heifetz to thank for having dusted off, and made the first recordings of, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Second Violin Concerto (see volumes 14 and 40), the concertos by Korngold and Conus (volume 27), and the two works featured here. He was also a key source of inspiration to the young Itzhak Perlman, who had not even turned twenty when he made his first recording of Sibelius’s Concerto in D minor (1966, RCA). Thirteen years later, he returned to the work for EMI, this time coupling it to great effect with the Suite in A minor by Christian Sinding, thereby paying tribute to a little-known composer who, alongside Grieg and Sibelius, was in fact one of the most authentic Scandinavian composers of his day.

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) had studied the violin in his youth, and had even considered a career as a soloist. Hardly surprising, therefore, that his only concerto should have been written for his favourite instrument. He composed the first version in 1903 but, dissatisfied with the premiere (given by soloist Viktor Novácˇek under the composer’s baton), he revised it the following year, concerned that his original draft was simply too technically demanding. A second premiere was given, this time conducted by Richard Strauss in Berlin in October 1905, and it is the revised version that has been played ever since. Heifetz made the first recording in December 1934 under the baton of Leopold Stokowski, but failed to authorise its release. The following November he set down the first official recording, under Sir Thomas Beecham. The fact that a performer of Heifetz’s stature had taken up the cause of this concerto ensured its future success. Although it has not always earned unanimous enthusiasm — its finale was once memorably described as a “polonaise for polar bears” — the work has become part of the core violin repertoire, as demonstrated by the hundred or so recorded versions available.

By contrast, the number of recordings of the Suite in A minor, Op.10 by Christian Sinding (1856–1941) can more or less be counted on the fingers of one hand. After Heifetz’s first recording in 1953 (RCA), Ruggiero Ricci made the first stereo version in 1977, barely eighteen months before the performance by Perlman reissued here. A twelve-minute concerto in miniature, this work, subtitled “Suite in the old style”, is cast in three short movements. A blistering perpetuum mobile acts as introduction, yielding to a tender slow movement, which in turn gives way to a finale marked Tempo giusto which conjures up a lively Nordic atmosphere. Dated 1889 and originally published with piano accompaniment before being orchestrated, the Suite was the first of the many works for the violin (concertos, sonatas, romances and so on) that form part of Sinding’s overall production. Although he left a sizeable catalogue, taking in every genre, his work fell into total neglect, with the exception of one of his piano pieces, Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring). As wonderful as Perlman’s performance here is, it has not inspired others to follow his example —there are only a tiny number of other versions available, generally with piano rather than orchestral accompaniment, making this recording even more valuable. –Jean-Michel Molkhou


Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.47
1 I Allegro moderato 16.12
2 II Adagio di molto 8.49
3 III Allegro, ma non tanto 7.29

Christian Sinding (1856–1941)
Suite in A minor, Op.10 “Suite in the Old Style” orchestral version
4 I Presto 1.43
5 II Adagio 5.41
6 III Tempo giusto 5.09

Itzhak Perlman, violin
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, conductor


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