Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Henryk Szeryng, LSO, Pierre Monteux – Brahms – Violin Concerto in D

   Among many great artists of XX century, in the midst of remarkable violinists Henryk Szeryng is still an exception. There are very few violinists with such precious tone, noble phrase and inspired musical authenticity. And there are few concertos only, where artist have the chance to lead full time dramatic dialog with orchestra while playing such captivating phrases. That is why Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto D-Major is the one we know in so many interpretations – this is just the obligatory position in repertoire of every active virtuoso. So we are at a great variety of master recordings from Jasha Heifetz, David Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein to Anne-Sophie Mutter, Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn. One of the best is Henryk Szeryng’s 1959 recording with London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Pierre Monteux. This record is milestone of RCA catalogue. Published on vinyl recording was awarded Grand Prix du Disque.

Henryk Szeryng / LSO / Pierre Monteux – Brahms' Violin Concerto (1959)

   Henryk Szeryng was born 1918 in Żelazowa Wola, the birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, He was descendant of Polish-Jewish family. His mother started teach him music when he was 5, and at age 7 he begin to play the violin. Most of his public performances and recording sessions he played on his own „Le Duc” by Guarneri del Gesù. He was also owner of the Stradivarius „King David” which he donated to the State of Israel.
   During the war, using his artistic position, Szeryng help prime minister of Polish government-in-exile to find place for settling in Mexico some 4 thousands Polish refugees. In 1946 in gesture of gratitude he became naturalized citizen of Mexico. In 1970 he was Mexico’s special advisor to UNESCO in Paris. His best recordings are the two completes of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, Sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms recorded with pianist Arthur Rubinstein and three different recordings of Brahms’ Concerto in D – first two accompanied by London Symphony Orchestra with Pierre Monteaux from 1959 and with Antal Dorati from 1962 and third one from 1973 with Bernard Haitink leading Concertgebouw Orchestra.

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