Zukerman/LAPO: Haydn Violin Concerto No. 1, Sinfonia Concertante - DG
Jacket EX / LP EX / German pressing
This superb LP from Deutsche Grammophon (2530 907, German pressing, white circle label, stereo) features Pinchas Zukerman leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic form the violin in supremely eloquent accounst of Haydn's Violin Concerto No. 1 in C Major Hob. VIIa and the Sinfonia Concertante in B Major Hob. I No. 105, both recorded at American Legion Hall, Hollywood on 18 March 1977. In the latter work Zukerman is joined by LAPO principals Ronald Leonhard (cello), Barbara Winters (oboe), and David Breidenthal (bassoon).
Wrote critic R.G. in his review for the December 1977 issue of The Gramophone: "Haydn's four authentic Violin Concertos were written for Luigi Tomasini, who was for 30 years Konzertmeister of Haydn's orchestra in the Esterhhzy household, and although they are fairly unpretentious works, more reminiscent of Bach than suggestive of Mozart, the relative complexity of their solo parts, with frequent use of double stopping, gives them an interest rather beyond that of their purely musical content. Those who wish to explore them in some depth should certainly consider the Supraphon recording by the young Czech violinist Bohuslav Matoulek, which features two of them (in C and in G); but for a single sample one could hardly do better than listen to this new DG issue, in which Pinchas Zukerman is the impeccable soloist (and director) in the G major Concerto, with its long and intricate first movement, its operatic Adagio and its vivacious finale.
"The Sinfonia Concertante in B flat for violin, cello, oboe and bassoon, with full classical orchestra, is quite another matter: a work of Haydn's full maturity, composed during the course of his first visit to London in 1791-2 (and therefore contemporaneous with the first six of the twelve "London" Symphonies), especially to show off four of the principals in Salomon's crack orchestra, at whose concerts in the Hanover Square Rooms Haydn was the guest of honour. Zukerman and his three colleagues (who are presumably members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra) respond brilliantly to the considerable technical demands of the solo parts, and, 4 1atter-dy Salomon himself, Zukerman also secures alert and sympathetic playing from the orchestra. By comparison, the Decca performance by the Philharmonia Hungarica under Dorati (originally issued as part of a six-record set, together with Symphonies Nos. 82-92—HDNH 35-40, 3/72, and subsequently reissued on Ace of Diamonds, coupled with Mozart's Sinfonia Co,wertante for violin and viola played by Igor and David Oistrakh with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Kondrashin), sounds routine, with undistinguished (and not particularly well recorded) solo playing, less than perfect ensemble, and a tempo for the central Andante that is almost jaunty. My only regret is that DG did not think of filling Out Side 1 (which plays for less than 20 minutes) with a short extra item such as an overture."
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is EXCELLENT. The only flaw consists of the trace remains of a former sticker to the lower-left corner of the front panel. Otherwise, the jacket appears almost as new. There are no seamsplits, bends, owners' markings, or other defects and the album remains solid, bright, and glossy – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT. The surfaces are not CD silent, but in general the playback is superb – overall, and excellent copy.