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Johannes Brahms & Henri Vieuxtemps: Symphony No. 1 & Violin Concerto No. 5

95592 - Johannes Brahms & Henri Vieuxtemps: Symphony No. 1 & Violin Concerto No. 5

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Johannes Brahms & Henri VieuxtempsSymphony No. 1 & Violin Concerto No. 5

The concern with fidelity to the work in hand is often identified as Karl Böhm’s outstanding characteristic : his mode of conducting is said to embody the art of the conscientious presentation of the work and the subordination of his own personality to what the music itself has to say. In...more

Johannes Brahms | Henri Vieuxtemps

"This Brahms First is incredibly dynamic, more so than Böhm's recording with the Vienna Philharmonic more than a decade later, although the orchestra surely is not the VPO. Of interest is the Violin Concerto No. 5 of Vieuxtemps featuring Romanian violinist Lola Bobesco, highly regarded by connoisseurs, but with a somewhat limited career. Obviously, from her performance in this broadcast, she was a major violinist." (classicalcdreview.com)

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The concern with fidelity to the work in hand is often identified as Karl Böhm’s outstanding characteristic: his mode of conducting is said to embody the art of the conscientious presentation of the work and the subordination of his own personality to what the music itself has to say. In reality he was far from being a “conductor without qualities”, and this is illustrated particularly clearly in his interpretation of the Symphony No. 1 of Johannes Brahms. This late work was Brahms’s first essay in the symphonic genre; Brahms worked on it spasmodically for fourteen years, not completing it until 1876. It is problematic in a variety of ways, not least in its ambition to be a worthy successor to the symphonies of Beethoven, its massive dimensions, with weighty yet complementary outer movements, and in the great divergences between its monumental scale and the detailed motivic exploration that is a feature throughout.
Partnered by the Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester, Karl Böhm takes up this challenge with great decisiveness, charging the work with a youthfully zestful expressivity and driving it single-mindedly on towards the finale, not without taking the occasional surprising liberty with the score.

In the same year (1963) he was joined by the Romanian-born violinist Lola Bobesco to perform the Violin Concerto No. 5 of Henri Vieuxtemps, the most important composer of the Franco-Belgian violin school in the mid-19th century. Lola Bobesco, also trained in this tradition after starting out as a child prodigy, unfolds the solo part with warm, glowing tone and captivating spontaneity.

This CD is the latest in our Böhm series, following the release of archive recordings of works by Strauss, Mozart and Stravinsky with Karl Böhm and the Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester.

Reviews

Fanfare | March/April 2008 | Jerry Dubins | March 1, 2008

Little need be said about this 1963 radio broadcast of the Brahms First with Karl Böhm, other than the fact that it is a quick-paced, no-nonsense,Mehr lesen

Little need be said about this 1963 radio broadcast of the Brahms First with Karl Böhm, other than the fact that it is a quick-paced, no-nonsense, well-played, and quite decent sounding performance. But then this should come as no surprise. Böhm's Brahms has long been a proven quantity, well documented in recordings he made with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, as well as with other first-rate ensembles. His reading of the score on this occasion gives us an urgent, forward-pressing first movement, a beautifully paced and lovingly shaped Andante sostenuto, and a bracing finale.

The more interesting item on the disc is Henri Vieuxtemps's Violin Concerto No. 5 with Romanian-Belgian violinist Lola Bobesco, also from a 1963 broadcast. Bobesco (1921-2003) gained international recognition after having won the Eugene Ysaÿe contest in 1937. In 1958 she founded the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, and in 1971 and again in 1993 she was a jury member at the Queen Elizabeth competition. Bobesco's recording activities were not extensive, though she did commit to disc the violin sonatas of Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, Fauré, and Debussy.

Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881) was a famous violinist and composer who, like other Belgian musicians of the time (César Franck, for example, Vieuxtemps's exact contemporary) found French soil more fertile. Like a number of other virtuoso violinists competing for recognition and acclaim – Pierre Rode, Charles de Bériot, and Henryk Wieniawski – Vieuxtemps turned to composition, writing dazzling, death-defying works of derring-do. Much of his music, to be forgiving, is of interest mainly to violinists as contest pieces or as audience-wowing debut repertoire, and to students of the evolution of the violin and string-playing technique.

Of Vieuxtemps's seven concertos, the No. 5, however, has achieved a level of enduring popularity undeserved by its musical content, as a result of a jaw-dropping recording of it made in 1962 by Heifetz and Malcolm Sargent. Though the current catalog contains a number of recordings of other works by Vieuxtemps, I doubt that many are known beyond those with a keen interest in virtuoso violin music and its players. His Fifth Concerto, on the other hand, appears to have as many as 14 recordings, and I know for a fact there were once others, since the Philips CD I have with Arthur Grumiaux is no longer listed.

Bobesco was an accomplished fiddler – she would have to be to take on so technically challenging a work – but the reality is that she was technically challenged by it. Her playing can become labored and her bowing rough, as at 4:22 in the first movement; and her tone can turn abrasive in multi-stopped passages and pinched high on the G-string, the latter difficult for any violinist to make sound particularly alluring.

In short, Bobesco negotiates the treacheries of Vieuxtemps's high-wire act without any fatal slips or accidents, but not with a great deal of graceful ease. Personally, I've never found much grace in Heifetz's performance of the piece either, but if it's sailing through it with ease that you're looking for, he's your man. For grace, to the extent it's possible under such duress, I'll take Grumiaux, and for unperturbed, if a bit bland aplomb, I'll take Zukerman in his 1969 recording with Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Little need be said about this 1963 radio broadcast of the Brahms First with Karl Böhm, other than the fact that it is a quick-paced, no-nonsense,

Scherzo
Scherzo | Enero de 2008, Num. 226 | Enrique Pérez Adrián | January 1, 2008

Audite, el sello alemán que distribuye Diverdi, nos trae tres interesantesMehr lesen

Aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen dürfen wir ihnen diese Rezension leider nicht zeigen!
Audite, el sello alemán que distribuye Diverdi, nos trae tres interesantes

Audiophile Audition
Audiophile Audition | November 2007 | Gary Lemco | November 4, 2007

Karl Boehm (1894-1981) still looms large in the annals of GermanMehr lesen

Aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen dürfen wir ihnen diese Rezension leider nicht zeigen!
Karl Boehm (1894-1981) still looms large in the annals of German

www.musicweb-international.com
www.musicweb-international.com | November 2007 | Jonathan Woolf | November 1, 2007

Audite’s Cologne Broadcasts series has at its focus here Karl Böhm in performances given at the Funkhaus in April 1963. He conducted the CologneMehr lesen

Audite’s Cologne Broadcasts series has at its focus here Karl Böhm in performances given at the Funkhaus in April 1963. He conducted the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, now better known as the WDR Symphony, in one work with which he was strongly associated – the Brahms – and in another with which he would have had, at best, only a fleeting acquaintance.

So let’s start with the Vieuxtemps A minor concerto where he partners the Romanian violinist Lola Bobesco (1920-2003). Bobesco was best heard live when she brought a genuine intensity to her playing that even the best of her relatively small commercial performances could not quite reach. She left behind no studio recording of the Vieuxtemps which makes this survival all the more valuable to admirers. The sound can be a little congested and Böhm doesn’t do all he could to clarify orchestral textures. One imagines him content with an all-purpose heavyweight sonority – and this he duly gets, one that lacks Mackerras’s finesse for Zukerman and Sargent’s for Heifetz (both recordings, 1947 and 1961). Some of Bobesco’s passagework sounds a touch smeary under pressure but this is a live performance after all and compensation comes from her powerful commitment. In the final resort whilst Bobesco may lack the studio perfection of such as Perlman, Zukerman, Grumiaux or Menuhin (with Fistoulari) she digs deeply into the string and makes something valuable of the first movement cadenza. In a work that’s barely eighteen minutes long there’s not much time to stake one’s claim but she assuredly does; and a rougher hewn one than all the players already noted. She plays the central movement with great lyric and tonal generosity – with more allure than the more aristocratic Zukerman for example – and is suitably dashing in the sliver of a finale.

There’s not as much to be said about the Brahms. If you know Böhm’s 1975 Berlin Philharmonic DG studio recording, or the contemporaneous Vienna traversal, then you will know what to expect. Maybe he relaxes just a fraction more in the Cologne opening movement but otherwise both tempi and more importantly tempo relationships are consistent. The BPO performance however is both better recorded and better played and various other performances – from Berlin in 1959 and the on-tour Vienna Philharmonic Tokyo reading - probably have as many claims on the collector as this one. Furthermore Audite blots its copybook by muddled banding. Band three includes the Scherzo and the Adagio opening of the finale, leaving band four to take over at the Piu Andante Allegretto of the finale. Bizarre!

The constituency for this will be mixed. Bobesco admirers have a new discographical entrant but it’s conjoined with what will be for them an expendable Brahms symphony. Admirers of the conductor will find the performance of the symphony "straight down the middle" but will have an unexpected though not always insightfully conducted concerto adjunct to their discographies.
Audite’s Cologne Broadcasts series has at its focus here Karl Böhm in performances given at the Funkhaus in April 1963. He conducted the Cologne

Pizzicato
Pizzicato | Oktober 2007 | Rémy Franck | October 1, 2007

Schon die weiche Pauke in den Anfangstakten der Brahms-Symphonie zeigt, dass uns Böhm keinen norddeutsch-strengen und harten Brahms vorführen will.Mehr lesen

Schon die weiche Pauke in den Anfangstakten der Brahms-Symphonie zeigt, dass uns Böhm keinen norddeutsch-strengen und harten Brahms vorführen will. Und so entwickelt sich diese Erste zwar mit drängender Leidenschaft, aber zugleich lyrisch und heiter. Das Vieuxtemps-Konzert bietet die Gelegenheit zu einer beglückenden Begegnung mit der Ausnahmegeigerin Lola Bobesco, auch wenn das tonale Umfeld hier vielleicht etwas deutsch klingt.
Schon die weiche Pauke in den Anfangstakten der Brahms-Symphonie zeigt, dass uns Böhm keinen norddeutsch-strengen und harten Brahms vorführen will.

www.classicstodayfrance.com
www.classicstodayfrance.com | septembre 2007 | Christophe Huss | September 11, 2007

La 1re Symphonie est celle de Brahms qui convenait le plus, à mon sens, auMehr lesen

Aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen dürfen wir ihnen diese Rezension leider nicht zeigen!
La 1re Symphonie est celle de Brahms qui convenait le plus, à mon sens, au

Diapason
Diapason | septembre 2007 | Rémy Louis | September 1, 2007

Ce deuxième volume du cycle Karl Böhm d'Audite (cf. n° 548) nous mène simultanément en terrain connu et inconnu. Connu en ce qui concerne laMehr lesen

Ce deuxième volume du cycle Karl Böhm d'Audite (cf. n° 548) nous mène simultanément en terrain connu et inconnu. Connu en ce qui concerne la symphonie, dont la multiplicité dans la discographie du chef permet d'apprécier les métamorphoses. Si les gravures officielles de studio (dont la magistrale version berlinoise de 1959, DG) offrent déjà de nets contrastes, les versions en public de l'après-guerre (RIAS 1950/Tahra, Vienne 1954/Altus, Radio bavaroise 1969/Orfeo...) déclinent toutes cette lecture passionnée, au relief dramatique fulgurant. Inédit, ce concert de studio capté d'une traite au Funkhaus (Maison de la Radio) de Cologne en 1963 enrichit d'une nouvelle nuance cette vision dont la transparence et l'agilité tranchent avec la tradition austro-allemande dans lequel le chef autrichien s'inscrit pourtant naturellement. La tension, le lyrisme, l'expressivité des phrasés obéissent à une impétuosité qui rappelle irrésistiblement le Brahms de jeunesse.

Böhm met en lumière de façon presque psychologique l'état d'esprit de ce Brahms qui ose enfin cette Symphonie n° 1 si longtemps repoussée. Il en libère la force vitale avec une énergie irrésistible et pressante, pour engager le finale dans une apothéose borderline qui ne met pourtant jamais la forme en péril. Et si l'Orchestre de la Radio de Cologne ne possède pas la richesse de texture et de timbres qui sera, peu d'années après, celle de l'Orchestre symphonique de la Radio bavaroise (Diapason d'or, cf. n° 386), il ne peut que céder à un magnétisme aussi impérieux et agissant.

Jusque-là inconnu dans la discographie de Böhm, le Concerto pour violon n° 5 de Vieuxtemps, gravé le même jour (cf. l'introduction), le voit dialoguer avec Lola Bobesco. Loin d'être impeccable (intonation, précision), la violoniste roumaine imprègne l'oeuvre de sa forte personnalité, avec des phrasés très expressifs – sinon appuyés –, une riche sonorité, un vibrato généreux. Précisons enfin que L'Oiseau de feu chronique le mois dernier est issu de la même session.
Ce deuxième volume du cycle Karl Böhm d'Audite (cf. n° 548) nous mène simultanément en terrain connu et inconnu. Connu en ce qui concerne la

muzica-etc.blogspot.com | joi, august 30, 2007 | George | August 30, 2007

Lola Bobescu sub bagheta lui Karl Böhm<br /> <br /> Imi amintesc mai mult cuMehr lesen

Aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen dürfen wir ihnen diese Rezension leider nicht zeigen!
Lola Bobescu sub bagheta lui Karl Böhm

Imi amintesc mai mult cu

www.concertonet.com
www.concertonet.com | Août 2007 | Sébastien Foucart | August 13, 2007

Cet enregistrement de la Première Symphonie de Brahms permet de retrouverMehr lesen

Aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen dürfen wir ihnen diese Rezension leider nicht zeigen!
Cet enregistrement de la Première Symphonie de Brahms permet de retrouver

www.classicalcdreview.com
www.classicalcdreview.com | August 2007 | R.E.B. | August 1, 2007

Admirers of Karl Böhm (1894-1981) will wish to investigate these April 5,Mehr lesen

Aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen dürfen wir ihnen diese Rezension leider nicht zeigen!
Admirers of Karl Böhm (1894-1981) will wish to investigate these April 5,

Diverdi Magazin
Diverdi Magazin | N° 161 / julio 2007 | Roberto Andrade | July 1, 2007 Mozartiano y antidivo
Audite rescata grabaciones inéditas de Karl Böhm

Nacido en Graz, Austria, Karl Böhm (1894-1981) siguió en principio los pasos de su padre, abogado, y se doctoró en derecho en 1919. Pero prontoMehr lesen

Nacido en Graz, Austria, Karl Böhm (1894-1981) siguió en principio los pasos de su padre, abogado, y se doctoró en derecho en 1919. Pero pronto pudo más la vocación musical y en 1920 debutó en su ciudad natal como director de ópera. Los primeros años de su carrera transcurrieron en Alemania, en Múnich, Darmstadt y Hamburgo, con el apoyo de Hans Richter, Karl Muck y Bruno Walter, hasta alcanzar en 1934 la titularidad de la Ópera de Dresde, en la que sucedió al exiliado Fritz Busch. Durante casi un decenio desarrolló allí una gran labor, en estrecha colaboración musical con Richard Strauss, de quien estrenó “La Mujer Silenciosa y Dafne”. Su buena relación con el nazismo le pasó factura cn la posguerra y hubo de sufrir un periodo de desnazificación de dos años, transcurrido el cual dió proyección internacional a su carrera: Austria y Alemania, por supuesto, pero también Milán y Nápoles, Londres y América, con especial presencia en Buenos Aires. Chicago y el Met lo acogieron a finales de los 50 y Bayreuth en 1962. Sus visitas a España fueron escasas.

Böhm alcanzó la cima de su carrera y el unánime reconocimiento internacional en los años 60 y 70, gracias a sus colaboraciones con las grandes orquestas de Berlín y Viena y la London Symphony, más las de los teatros de ópera de las ciudades citadas: todas ellas rendían al máximo guiadas por su batuta firme y segura, sus gestos sobrios pero eficaces y su infalible buen gusto. Pese a su rigor en los ensayos y su vivo genio, Böhm fue un director favorito de los Filarmónicos de Berlín y Viena, con quienes realizó magníficas grabaciones de los grandes clásicos, especialmente de las grandes óperas de Mozart y de los ciclos de sinfonías de éste, de Beethoven y de Schubert, además de muchas partituras de Richard Strauss, su autor preferido junto con Mozart. También briIló como intérprete de Haydn, Bruckner, Wagner y Alban Berg.

Audite nos lo presenta ahora al frente de la Orquesta de la Radio de Colonia, con dos significativas adiciones a su discografía, que hacen especialmente valiosos estos dos CDs: el “Concierto para violín no 5” de Vieuxtemps, con la interesante violinista Lola Bobesco - ¿recuerdan su CD Testament de música francesa, comentado en este Boletín? - y la “suite de EI Pájaro de Fuego” de Stravinsky, registros procedentes de un concierto celebrado en Colonia eI 5 de abril de 1963, que se completó con una notable “Primera Sinfonía” de Brahms de creciente intensidad (se advierte que la pista 3 del CD contiene no solo eI tercer movimiento, sino tambíen la introducción del cuarto; de ahí lo inhabitual de las duraciones). Pero lo más destacado de esta entrega son la “Sinfonía 28 K 200” de Mozart, de sobria elegancia y perfecta proporción y un sensacional “Don Juan” de Richard Strauss, obras umbas muy bien tocadas por la orquesta. Notable sonido.
Nacido en Graz, Austria, Karl Böhm (1894-1981) siguió en principio los pasos de su padre, abogado, y se doctoró en derecho en 1919. Pero pronto

Merchant Infos

Johannes Brahms & Henri Vieuxtemps: Symphony No. 1 & Violin Concerto No. 5
article number: 95.592
EAN barcode: 4022143955920
price group: BCB
release date: 20. June 2007
total time: 61 min.

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