Beethoven Violin Concerto

July 28, 2004 at 08:35 PM · Hello all,

I would like to find out about your favorite recording of the Beethoven violin concerto.

Mine is by Christian Ferras with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan.

Replies (100)

July 28, 2004 at 08:39 PM · I am partial to Christian Ferras because of his great intonation. The slower second movement has this deep, sad and resonant sound that I did not perceive in other recordings. That clinched it for me.

Any comments?

July 28, 2004 at 09:25 PM · I honestly think that Huberman is unparallel in this recording. Listen to his 1944 live recording of it (it is actually even better then the one with Szell).

July 29, 2004 at 12:08 AM · I frequently listen to the Menuhin/Furtwangler recording. I like the emotionality/tenderness of Menuhin's interpretation.

July 29, 2004 at 12:13 AM · I have listened to a number of Beethoven recordings, but still prefer Heifetz for his dramatic and propulsive interpretation, and then Kogan for his technically flawless and neat playing.

July 29, 2004 at 02:00 AM · I like Mutter's early recording and Stern's recording that part of is featured on the album that has various bits and pieces of of pieces on it! I like Mutter's early recording because of a certain freshness and youthfullness it seems to exhibit, I've just always really enjoyed it! The Stern recording was one of my first real hearings of the Beethoven violin concerto and Stern was probably one of my earliest musical influences.

July 29, 2004 at 04:55 AM · I second Huberman and also recommend Kogan because everything he recorded is fantastic and blows everyone else away.

July 29, 2004 at 01:04 PM · Mutter(new and old) because she is interesting to listen to, and also Ferras, Oistravk, Perlman, and Stern.

July 29, 2004 at 10:20 PM · ick i hate mutter.

July 30, 2004 at 01:34 PM · Hilary Hahn, then Milstein.

I'm biased towards recent recordings because of the recording quality. Old records are too nostalgic for my liking... reminds me of a trip to Grandma's.

Incidently.. I was listening to a Heifetz recording the other day, and you can actually hear someone coughing in the background! Oh if only those masters of the violin had the recording equipment we have today.... and if only Paginini had recording equipment at all *sigh*

July 30, 2004 at 02:04 PM · Don't forget, that if you like the Mutter/Karajan recording, it is about 90 percent Karajan, and about 10 percent Mutter... No wonder people love it! :-)

July 30, 2004 at 03:33 PM · Why is there so much anti-mutter stuff on this board. Is it because she was hailed so high as a violinist by Karagan when she was only in her teens? Or it because she is a female? I think we can debate about Mutter forever on this board. Some people like her, and some people just don't. She very much could be the greatest violinist living today whether you like it or not. She beats out Bell, Vengerov, Hahn, chang, Perlman,etc. by a long run. And, Igor, I like the new mutter much more then the old mutter with Karagan. Can you all state your reasons why you don't like Mutter? And what recordings you don't like by her. I must say I have never heard a better Sibelius, Brahms, Beethoven, Lalo, Bruch, etc. And no one has played a better Mozart no.5 then she has.

July 30, 2004 at 06:14 PM · we dont dislike her becaues of her sex or anything of that sort. I find her playing in bad taste. I love her tone and technique but her rubatos, especially in pieces like the beethoven concerto i find ugly and ill-placed

July 30, 2004 at 06:33 PM · and i most certainly place her way lower than soembody such as perlman

July 30, 2004 at 06:39 PM · You say that it is wrong of us to state our negative opinions of Mutter, but you yourself say she is better than all those other violinists listed as if it was a fact. In my personal opinion, although those of others may differ, Mutter's use of rubato can greatly interfere with the music. Also, I definitely wouldn't say she was better than Perlman "by a long run" (I certainly don't think Mutter is even a better violinist than Perlman)

July 30, 2004 at 07:02 PM · Oh I forgot about Milstein's Beethoven. I heard it on the radio one day a long time ago, and couldn't stop listening, and the radio announcer said it was Milstein. It was some of the best violin playing I've ever heard.

July 30, 2004 at 07:12 PM · Some of Mutter's playing is just so ugly, as if she's bored with the music and trying to add in special effects. I heard her Kreutzer sonata on the radio and immediately knew it was her because of all the sliding and overdone rubato. But my favorite Beethoven recordings are Kogan, Francescatti, Perlman with Giulini and Menuhin/Furtwangler.

July 30, 2004 at 08:48 PM · Milstein's old recording with Leinsdorf was my favorite Beethoven for many years; I later heard a live recording he made with, I think, Mehta conducting: his live playing was considerably more visceral and propulsive. I have found this to be true of many works Milstin has recorded in the studio, and also live; the live performances were always more...alive. The problem I have with his Beethoven is, in spite of his immaculate, patrician, silver tone -- so immediately recognizable -- there is in this very patrician, aristocratic manner a certain distancing or reluctance to really sing out. Of course, this very restraint contributes toward making his Bach solo so wonderous. However, for that reason, in the Beethoven I now prefer Menuhin/Furtwangler, or Szigeti/Walter; Fritz Kreiser's recordings of the Beethoven are also so very elegant: they make the music feel so very direct, and his unique style never interposes his own personality between the printed page and the human heart (unlike Elman's interesting "Elman Violin Concerto with Beethoven Providing the Excuse" that Mischa made with Solti in 1955. (In that, of course, Elman's idiosyncratic approach often, to me, feels as though it contradicts the music's intention. Still, he can be hugely entertaining...) Stern's early recording with Berntstein is aslo an uninterrupted song, unlike his later recordings which lack the technique and power he evidenced with Lenny.

July 31, 2004 at 04:55 PM · Grumiaux/Philharmonia/Galliera.

This is not the recording available as a "Penguin Classic" - in my opinion it's much much better. Such a sweet tone, and some of the most elegant phrasing I have ever heard.

On the "Penguin" recording he has some trouble with intonation - I think he was older when he made it (also I heard a rumor about alcohol problems). His earlier stuff, late 50's and early 60's is impeccable. In fact, his recording was where I first heard Symphonie Espagnole, and I didn't even realize it was supposed to be a difficult piece until I heard someone else's recording [reputable violinist] that wasn't as good.

August 1, 2004 at 01:39 AM · I like Francescatti's, and Perlman's. When I hear Mutter play live, many times all I seem to hear is friction. She's a wonderful violinist, but I think Perlman is much better. Every concert he gives is a lesson in phrasing, colors, making the violin sing, and especially the wonderful finger strokes.

August 1, 2004 at 09:11 AM · Look out for Camilla Wicks's 1953 Carnegie Hall performance with Bruno Walter, which should be out on Music&Arts in the fall. It is a breathtaking performance in every way. Nipun Prem's praise of Ferras's Larghetto (especially in the live version with Bohm, when he was just 19) is right on the money, it's a wondrous version, as are Menuhin/Furtwangler, Heifetz/Toscanini,Huberman/ Szell (if the 1944 one is better, that's saying something!), Kogan/Vandernoot. Milstein, Francescatti, Grumiaux, Oistrakh (but with Cluytens) are pretty good too!

August 1, 2004 at 09:33 AM · Ok, sorry, forgot to be more specific as to what is special about Wicks! Like all the truly great versions she captures the dramatic, sovereign and intimate aspects of the work and moulds them inextricably into an organic form. She combines the pulsating rhythmic momentum and intense tonal and virtuoso (cadenzas!)radiance one associates with Heifetz and innermost sentiment. The quality and subtelty of her intonation, the constant sensitivity of her phrasing are amazing.

August 1, 2004 at 10:23 AM · Milstein, Perlman and Frank Peter Zimmerman.

Beautifully phrased, in excellent taste and never less than immaculate in tone and technique.


August 1, 2004 at 05:06 PM · I have read most of the posts and I disagree with a lot of them. Exception made for Francescatti, Grumiaux, and Mutter, most of the other play Beethoven as though it were Brahms. He's a Classical composer, much more similar to Mozart than to the Romantic ones, and it must be played with this in mind. I must say an excellent recording which I have discovered only recently is that of Victor Pikaizen, pupil of David Oistrach and his successor at the Conservatoire in Moscow. Anyone listened to it? Emanuele

August 2, 2004 at 01:56 AM · Although much of the concerto does sound classical, I think the Beethoven was quite a leap in terms of the writing of violin concertos. It is on a much larger scale than anything before it. I find many parts of the concerto to be in the romantic style. I believe Beethoven was in the transitional state when he wrote this, meaning he was moving from the classical way to the romantic. You can't possibly say he was a purely classical period composer.

August 2, 2004 at 07:08 AM · I think right around this point was when he was becoming the pivotal Classical-Romantic Transition figure that we think of when we think of Beethoven. He hadn't completely left the Classical style behind yet, but he was obviously starting to. I am always amazed when I think of the string of masterpieces he wrote, one after another:

op. 55 = Eroica Symphony

op. 56 = Triple Concerto

op. 57 = "Appassionata" Sonata

op. 58 = Piano Concerto #4

op. 59 = Razumovsky quartets

op. 60 = Symphony #4

op. 61 = Violin Concerto

Some of these pieces were revolutionary, some weren't. All of them can be played successfully in a "romantic" or a "classical" style. Part of what makes Beethoven so great is that he just doesn't fit into a simple category.

August 2, 2004 at 02:22 PM · I agree that Beethoven's works are transitional, and in fact I am not claiming that it should be played like Mozart! I am just slightly dubious about all those soloists who play it in a purely Romantic way. There are sequences in which we can feel that the Romantic sensibility and way of composing was developing, yet this should not be a reason to exceed in playing it in a Romantic way all the way through.

August 2, 2004 at 04:51 PM · I totally agree

August 23, 2004 at 04:42 AM · Beethoven violin concerto

I Love Oistrakh’s live recording in Moscow

It’s great and “simple” and it’s great because of simplicity,

I don’t like Mutter’s Beethoven concerto, and I just hate Mutters Beethoven Sonatas

She’s German and I don’t understand how come she plays that way

So sweet, she slides back and forward back and forward like Ravel or Debussy


I was on Vengerov’s live concert in Montreal, Beethoven concerto...very good

August 23, 2004 at 02:10 PM · A little while back someone mentioned Zimmermann. The man's playing is unbelievably poised, especially in Beethoven. Why he hasn't been more universally recognized is beyond me.

That being said, my personal favorite is Milstein, mainly because of the pacing. This "sixth piano concerto" can get downright boring if the phrasing is not carefully balanced, which is one of the reasons it's so difficult. Milstein's crisp tone and tempi give the first movement an elasticity that I only hope I can approach someday.

Also, for everyone who isn't enamored of Anne-Sophie, I challenge you to _watch_ the Karajan recording. She may have been Karajan's protege in musical style (not like that's a bad thing), but I haven't seen bow control and simply effortless playing like that in a long time.

August 23, 2004 at 11:35 PM · The older violin recordings from around the middle 1920's up until around the middle 50's project the true sound of the violin compared to today's recordings. The technology used in the last 25 years or longer really make every violinist sound the same. Give me the old sound recordings they were much warmer.

August 24, 2004 at 06:39 PM · check out the kogan dvd

August 24, 2004 at 07:41 PM · Yes. Generally, Kogan played the Beethoven very nicely indeed. However, on that DVD we hear and seem him play it a little below his best. I think I hear a few notes in the first movement that are slightly off the mark. Usually, Kogan's intonation was right on the money.

August 31, 2004 at 09:03 PM · In my opinion, all of the recordings of Beethoven's Concerto could be better, because the power of Beethoven's Violin Concerto is the fact that it gives the soloist the most freedom to express his/her feelings, maybe more freedom than any other Violin Concerto. People who disagree with this should compare Mutter's snail-paced interpretation with Heifetz's cheetah-paced one. Personally I don't like either one of them, though if I had to listen to one of them, I'd choose Heifetz. I'd rather be blown out of my chair than being bored to death.

August 31, 2004 at 11:26 PM · For me - any of David Oitrakh's performances. Try following his performance with a score - you don't realise how much expression is in the performance because it just sounds so natural - it's Beethoven, not an "interpretation". I never tire of listening to the sublime CD performance I have (coupled with Gilels playing the piano concertos and Milstein playing the Romances). Maybe not the most wonderful recordings (or orchestral playing) but what performances.

September 1, 2004 at 01:20 PM · hrmm.... looking over the list of CD's I've ordered from Berkshire Record Outlet, it seems that I have versions by Szeryng, Milstein & Kogan... plus I know I have Perlman & Hahn. One of these days I'll have to do a back-to-back comparison of all of them.

One version I vow I will NEVER get is the one by Kremer. I do like him very much as a player, but I heard this recording on the radio & thought the cadenza was absolutely hideous

September 1, 2004 at 06:35 PM · Is that the one where Kremer played a cadenza written by Schnittke?

September 2, 2004 at 04:37 AM · Oscar Shumsky...either that or either of Fritz Kreisler's recordings.

Personally, I feel Kreisler's cadenzas are the most apt of any composed. They fit the manner of the concerto amazingly well, but nevertheless show what the violin can express and proves that this piece is not for an amateur.

Kreisler's recordings were made in the late 20s (Blech/Berlin state opera) and early 30s (Barbirolli/London Phil), but there is a recording of Shumsky playing the first movement while still a student at Curtis (late 30s, early 40s, i'm not sure). He plays the Kreisler cadenza which was NOT PUBLISHED at that point...Shumksy heard Kreisler play it and MEMORIZED the cadenza. He played the concerto for Kreisler (the biggest influence on his playing), and the great man was amazed that he had it not perfect, with the exception of a few chords which he played in different inversion. Pretty amazing stuff. Shumsky's full recording was made in 1988 (Philharmonia, Andrew Davis). Unfortunately, it is out of print, but do ANYTHING to find this.

According to my violin teacher, who knew Shumsky quite well, said that he wanted his performances to be above mere "violinistic gratification," surely his observation on "modern" playing. Simply put, Shumsky's Beethoven concerto is a model of violinistic and musical genius fused to one another. Though it's true that there are a few scratches and a not or two slightly out of tune, this was due to his practice of not splicing his recordings (Heifetz did the same). I would like to meet a modern day violinist who dares to do that...

September 2, 2004 at 05:24 AM · For me the Heifetz recording with the NBC Symphony conducted by Toscanini is my favorite. Heifetz was in top form then. The intonation on that recording was nearly perfect. What makes it more remarkable and depressing for everyone I think (as Baker pointed out )is the fact he didn't splice! You don't hear playing like that very often.

September 4, 2004 at 05:11 PM · This is a hot topic. Well, the most individual and impressive playing that stands out of all, I must say, should be Hubermann's recording with wiener phil. If any of you said Beethoven is the spirit of Beethoven, I think Hubermann made it the most Beethoven way as it should be.

Besides, Francescatti and Oistrakh are among the most favourite lists for me. People like Francescatti must try to get the most recent version ( released by Biddulph ) he played with Ormandy and the Philadephia in the 50's. It is the best out of his 3 versions.

September 8, 2004 at 01:46 PM · personally, I prefer Schneiderhan's recording. He puts more brilliance in the piece.

September 8, 2004 at 07:36 PM · Emanuele, WHERE did you find Victor Pikaizen??? I am looking for his recordings for many yerars. Nobody even know his name.

September 9, 2004 at 01:06 PM · It's slim pickings, but Arkiv music lists 2 CD's that include Pikaizen:

September 9, 2004 at 02:19 PM · I would really like to hear shaham playing the beethoven.

September 9, 2004 at 07:24 PM · Yes me too. I wonder when he's going to record it.

September 10, 2004 at 12:18 AM · Christina, thank you!!!!!

September 10, 2004 at 01:05 AM · Yes any info on Victor Pikaizen would be much appreciated and how to get his recordings.

September 10, 2004 at 01:25 AM · Pinchas Zukerman

September 10, 2004 at 01:25 AM · And Itzhak Perlman

September 10, 2004 at 01:25 AM · and of course, Anne Sophie Mutter!!

January 5, 2005 at 05:23 AM · David Oistrakh's perfomance is the most natural for me. A few people already wrote the same on the discussion board. When you listen to him, you never think about vituositi. There is always a great interpretation of a piece!

Also, what do you think about Ginette Neveu's perfomance?

January 5, 2005 at 05:56 AM · Which recordings of Oistrakh playing the Beethoven are available? And which do you like best?

January 5, 2005 at 08:33 PM · I have 2 perfomances:

David Oistrakh, Alexander Gauk, conductor, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (1950?)

David Oistrakh, Andre Cluytens, conductor, French National Radio Orchestra.

I like the first one more.

January 5, 2005 at 08:44 PM · Menuhin with Furtwangler is my favorite because it combines Menuhin's touch and musical expression to make the recording almost sublime. Furtwangler and Menuhin work perfectly together and the orchestra sounds fantastic. The recording also has the Mendelssohn concerto on it.

January 5, 2005 at 09:59 PM · ive seen an oistrakh beethoven concerto dvd on ebay

January 23, 2005 at 03:42 AM · Personally, I like Huberman's recording, but I like Milstein, Grumiaux, and Ginette Neveu much more. I always like Milstein, Grumiaux seems to sound best in classical repertoire (I don't like his interpretations of romantic pieces), and Neveu just plays it beautifully. I can't describe it better than that.

January 23, 2005 at 03:08 PM · Mutter, Grumiaux, Szeryng, and Oistrakh.

All lovely.

January 23, 2005 at 05:13 PM · Early Heifetz because it just flows so beautifully and his phrasing is just so amazing. I hate slower Beethoven violin concertos because it just drags on and on. I think the tempo can really make or break that piece, at least in the 1st movement.

January 23, 2005 at 06:23 PM · Yes... Anne Sophie Mutter, both recordings,old and new!

Also I like Szering's..somehow Mutter's sound is as powerfull and rich as Szering, which I love!!

January 23, 2005 at 06:49 PM · Isaac Stern with Bernstein conducting...

how can you not like it?

January 23, 2005 at 11:06 PM · I haven't heard much about Oistrakh's recording of the Beethoven. Recently I got a live BBC recording in which he plays both the Beethoven and Mozart 4, accompanied by Kondrashin. The sound is pretty grainy, but he does such a good job of capturing the mystery around the second main entrance of the violin in the first movement. It was interesting, in the liner notes Tully Potter said the Beethoven was never one of his specialties and he was always overshadowed by Kogan in this piece.

January 24, 2005 at 01:46 PM · Oistrakh is my favorite for Beethoven, both concerto and sonatas. It may not have been his specialty, but he was so good . . . . I am old enough to have heard him live during his prime. You cannot beat that.

January 24, 2005 at 04:32 PM · Has anyone heard Myumi Seiler's Beethoven? Amazing cadenza, and the most musical performance that ive heard yet....

In fact, has anyone even heard of that violinist???!

January 24, 2005 at 04:44 PM · I have heard of her but never heard her play anything.

February 15, 2005 at 12:08 PM · There are so many wonderful performances of this piece, but my all time favorite is the Francescatti/Ormandy just re-released on Biddulph after being out of print for at least 50 years. The tempo is perfect, the playing is warm, elegant, straightforward, and aims straight for the heart without sacrificing the elegance of the classical era style. The entire first movement is based on an overlapping beat of 5, where the 5th beat of one motif is simultaneously the 1st beat of the next. The second movement has moments that literally are suspended in time. The third movement is a pure joy. Francescatti and Ormandy play the concerto seamlessly, like chamber music. It all ties together. There are so many magical moments in this performance that once it gets into your brain and heart, you can listen to it endlessly without getting tired.

February 15, 2005 at 06:07 PM · So Francescatti has one Beethoven concerto with Ormandy and one with Bruno Walter?

February 15, 2005 at 06:15 PM · kogan

February 15, 2005 at 10:10 PM · Huberman has two recordings out. One is conducted by Szell and the other by Harry Blech. Huberman's recording with Blech sounds far, far more improvisatory and alive in spite (or perhaps because) of Szell's legendary perfectionism.

February 15, 2005 at 10:23 PM · Kreisler made the recording with Blech (Leo, not Harry), HUberman made only one studio recording (Szell), there's also a live recording from a NY concert. They both are remarkable, lately, I've listened a lot to Milstein (live with Maazel, 1959 on Music and arts) and he has the purest, most expressive tone you could dream of, with Maazel providing a perfect accompaniment.Another great recording is Oistrach with Abendroth, but he is definitely more "muscular" than Milstein, and he doesn't have the same "palette" of sound.Ginette Neveu, Heifetz (w Toscanini),Menuhin -Fuirtwängler (live in Berlin) are among the others.

February 15, 2005 at 11:11 PM · Quite right. Huberman's concert recording of 1944 is with Conductor: Leon Barzin;

Orchestra/Ensemble: National Orchestral Association.

February 17, 2005 at 05:51 AM · And by the way, Huberman, per several sources, was not at all comfortable during his recording session with Szell. Add to that the necessity of stopping every 3 1/2 minutes due to the technical limitations of the recording processes of the day and one can readily surmise, as well as hear, that Huberman was not at the top of his form in that recording as close as he was during the 1944 concert recording with Barzin. The latter version is played with notably more abandon and is, to me, a far more moving performance from this violinist for whom the environment in which he played had much importance. Or whatever I just said.

February 17, 2005 at 05:05 PM · Hi,

So many great versions... Stern/Bernstein, Heifetz/Toscanini. Grumiaux, Oistrakh, Szeryng, Huberman, Kreisler are all great too. I like the Heifetz for the pacing and the Stern, well, like someone said above, how can you not like it?!

Someone above mentioned Zimmerman. Fantastic recording and violinist!!! His live Beethoven is just as great as the recording in every sense musically and technically. As for the question Michael asked about his career. In Europe, he is huge. Here, well, there are reasons his career hasn't blossomed, and those should be thought of but not mentioned...


February 18, 2005 at 11:43 PM · a little off topic but i love how beethoven can make the most simple things sound so profound and beautiful. I'm listening to the sixth symphony, how can tonic-dominant sound so profound, ah, what a dude.

February 18, 2005 at 11:47 PM · Owen -- take a close look at the first movement of the violin concerto. It is simply material from a scale book strung together. Wow!

February 18, 2005 at 11:51 PM · Owen,

Beethoven's music is miraculous to me in that respect. He can even make the most common chord sound profound - just think of the first chord of the 4th Piano Concerto.


February 19, 2005 at 12:30 AM · Greetings,

Carl, both the player and the audience have to cooperate in making it profound;)



February 19, 2005 at 06:29 AM · This is such a fascinating thread. Where do you folks find all those old recordings? How do you even know what to look for? Almost everything I see in stores is recent.

February 19, 2005 at 06:44 AM · Pretty much all good CDs of old recordings are found online or at an actual classical music store. They mainly put recents stuff on the shelves of Tower, Borders, etc.

March 11, 2005 at 11:51 AM · It's amazing reading all the above to see how many fine performances there are of this sublime work! As with all great pieces there's room for several interpretations in your collection, or you get wedded to a performance rather than the work itself (so I have Klemperer AND Abbado conducting the symphonies for example). I have the Schneiderhan recording with the BPO and Jochum, a favourite because of the sweetness and purity of tone of his playing; however I do wish EMI would re-release the Columbia Oistrakh/Cluytens version - has it ever appeared on CD? As an aside, I think Menuhin's performance of the Brahms concerto with Rudolf Kempe and the BPO takes al lot of beating...

March 11, 2005 at 04:13 PM · I recently heard the Kreisler version. I think that's got to be my new favorite.

March 11, 2005 at 07:42 PM · Kreisler in 1928 with the Berlin Philharmonic and the live performance of Ginette Neveu and Hans Rosbaud in 1949 are great performances. They both display a unique personality. No violonists today are able to produce such sounds. The Kreisler cadenza played by Neveu in the first movement is oustanding and the theme at the end accompanied pizzicati by the orchestra comes out in the most touching way...In the second movement, Neveu beats them all... She speaks to humanity...

April 11, 2005 at 07:40 PM ·

April 11, 2005 at 08:37 PM · All movements with David Oistrakh in any recording.

My 2 favorite recordings with Oistrakh:

Oistrakh/Gauk - 1948 (studio rec.)

Oistrakh/Guy - live early 1960,s

Oistrakh wrote on his diaries that his favorite recording of Beethoven was the one with Cluytens.

April 12, 2005 at 12:18 AM · Does anyone know where I can find the music to the Heifetz cadenza for the Beethoven?

April 12, 2005 at 07:33 PM · Nate:

It shouldn't be difficult to contact his daughter in California for the music. She used to live in San Francisco.

Perhaps she still does.

Schneiderhan plays a very unusual (unique) cadenza in his recording with Jochum in 1952. The CD doesn't mention who wrote the cadenza. Was it Heifetz? Is anybody familiar with this recording? If yes, who wrote the cadenza?

April 12, 2005 at 09:45 PM · I am familiar with the recording, Amadeu. Schneiderhan plays his own cadenza in the recording with Jochum, based upon that written by Beethoven in his piano version of the violin concerto.

April 12, 2005 at 10:51 PM · I have to second the recommendatin of the Kogan DVD it is fabulous playing, wonderful sound.

April 13, 2005 at 01:48 PM · Alan:

Thank you for the info. I happened to have the recording of Beethoven's piano version and by God, why didn't I recognized it?!?!?

April 14, 2005 at 01:23 PM · Kreisler's 1936 recording because of Kreisler's unmatched lyricism, poesy and inimitable phrasing.

There are better technicians than Kreisler but not

better poets. He has the ability to speak to you through his violin. Bruno Walter said at Kreisler's funeral, "He did not play the violin, he became the violin." The cadenzas that Kreisler wrote sum up the thematic material in the concerto better than other cadenzas. They were written when he was but nineteen. I must note two other EXCEPTIONAL recordings of the Beethoven Concerto: that by Zino Francescatti under the baton of Walter and another played by Nathan Milstein. Both of these men played the Beethoven Concerto beautifully. Francescatti played perfectly and he adds Kreisler's cadenzas as well. The Milstein recording with the Pittsburg Symphony that I have is very beautiful. I think the difference that sets Kreisler above everyone else is his nobility of style and his fluidity segueing from phrase to phrase. He also has the freedom of expression that metronomic players can't give you.

April 14, 2005 at 08:09 PM · I'd like to put in a good word for a rendition of the Beethoven concerto which I recently purchased: it's by Joseph Szigeti with Bruno Walter conducting the British Symphony, 1932.

I find the playing to be warm, tasteful, intelligent and precise. It's not necessarily my favorite, but I feel it deserves mention...recorded over 70 years ago, yet it sounds quite fresh to my ear.

April 15, 2005 at 01:52 AM · Mike,

I truely cherish that recording too - Szigeti was truely an amazing violinist.



April 15, 2005 at 08:34 AM · What recording do you consider to be the fastest and most agressive "without being tasteless" recording?

April 15, 2005 at 01:01 PM · Andreas -- I find your question puzzling. Why do you want the "fastest without being tasteless"? without having heard a number of recordings, I would assume it to be Heifetz, but I am curious about your criteria.

April 15, 2005 at 03:31 PM · For the Beethoven, Andreas, I like Susanne Lautenbacher's the best of the quick recordings, though the recorded sound is quite bad (Vox mono). Heifetz/Toscanini is mt mom's favorite.

April 15, 2005 at 05:40 PM · Tom: Propably since I like uptempomovements faster and more aggressive them most people on this forum.

April 15, 2005 at 06:17 PM · Andreas -- o.k. As my daughter would say, "Whatever floats your boat."

April 15, 2005 at 07:40 PM · Menuhin! Young or Old, doesn't matter.

April 30, 2005 at 05:47 AM · I just heard for the first time Bronislaw Huberman's recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto from 1934. After listening, I said to myself this is the best recording I have heard, and that's including Heifetz, Menuhin, Stern,and Oistrakh. To me, Huberman is probably the most underrated violinist of all time. Here is a violinist who was not afraid to be different, his interpretations of any piece he played was totally unique.

April 30, 2005 at 07:38 AM · I can't say which one I like best. I would probably prefer different recordings on different days or when I'm in different moods. Aha! I had to get that in before #100 and the close of the thread.

June 6, 2005 at 02:20 PM · I would appreciate views on the first recording David Oistrakh made for EMI, with Sixten Ehrling and the Stockholm Festival Orchestra - EMI Classics have just issued this as part of a 4CD set "Les Introuvables de David Oistrakh", including sonatas by Beethoven, Franck and Szymanowski, the first concerto by Shostakovich (with Maxim conducting), and Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole. How does this version compare to the ORTF/Cluytens recording, for example? I saw Oistrakh perform this work on British TV around 1964-65 (from the Festival Hall?), and have always wanted a CD version by him. However, in the absence of the Cluytens recording it would seem to me that the asking price for this set (£14 on is worth it for the Beethoven and Shostakovich alone.

January 10, 2016 at 04:28 AM · Emanuele de Biase Corneli,

I realize your post is over a decade old. But if you are still looking for Viktor Pikayzen's recording, check out YouTube:

There are many more V. Pikayzen's recordings there.

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