Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole

April 22, 2005 at 04:28 AM · Don't worry, I already checked the archives, and I didn't find a similiar thread. I'm just interested in hearing what some of your favorite recordings of this work are. This post has been primarily prompted by hearing the Menuhin/ Monteaux recording yesterday. WOW! Also like Mutter/ Ozawa.

As an afterthought, if you suggest an early recording, say whether it includes all the movements or not...Menuhin's did, which I thought surprising for a forties recording.

Replies (26)

April 22, 2005 at 04:59 AM · Greetings,

don@t like the Menuhin recording. I don@t think he really clicked with this piece. My favorite is the recording by Francescatti he made at the beginning of his recording career.



April 22, 2005 at 06:37 AM · Perlman's (with Barenboim conducting a French orchestra, if I remember correctly) is absolutely stunning. I really can't find fault with it technically or musically. It's probably the most exciting and beautiful recording I've heard, made when Perlman was at his absolutely highest peak.

Also excellent are Zukerman's and Oistrakh's. They both have the powerful tone and 'weighty' sound that this piece needs.


April 22, 2005 at 12:33 PM · My vote: Francescatti/Mitropoulos/NYPO, if you can find it, or Kogan/Kondrashin/Philharmonia on an EMI reissue. Both are superb. I agree with Buri that this is one of Francescatti's greatest performances on records. Zino's sound and approach are perfectly suited to this piece.

April 22, 2005 at 02:13 PM · The Menuhin Paris Symphony Orchestra recording in 1933 I think is really nice - the 1945 Monteux remake is a bit dissapointing I must say.

April 22, 2005 at 11:12 PM · I have two or three recordings of the Lalo by Leonid Kogan. All combine his flawless technique with very beautiful musicianship. Each movement is lovely, but I particularly love the third movement, the Intermezzo, which some other players such as Heifetz customarily omit. Kogan plays this movement in a way that brings sheer delight!

I have two very fine Heifetz recordings of the Lalo that disappoint me because of the absence of the Intermezzo. Another very good recorded performance is that of Christian Tetzlaff.

To me other people may play this work very well, but don't provide the sheer beauty of Kogan.

April 23, 2005 at 12:26 AM · I've only heard Heifetz, Stern, and Mintz and Heifetz' is the best by far so far. I too am really disappointed that Heifetz didn't include the 3rd movement. I like how Oistrakh plays the little part they include of the 3rd movement on his latest DVD.

I disagree with Carl, though, that the piece needs a weight to it. It should have some, but not the amount that Stern puts in my opinion (haven't heard Oistrakh's). To me, it gives heavy Russian feeling to it which I think is completely out of style. But Zukerman and Oistrakh probably do it well...

April 23, 2005 at 01:42 AM · Stern recorded it twice. The 2nd recording from the 60's is the better recording in my opinion. The first recording does have a lot of weight to it, it is one of Stern's earlier recordings that I just don't care for.

April 23, 2005 at 01:47 AM · IMO, 0istrakh with Kondrashin, Francescatti with Cluytens and Ricci with Ansermet.

April 23, 2005 at 03:24 AM · Philips re-issued the Grumiaux 1954 Paris recording as part of a 5 CD "Original Masters" set. It is not only in my view the best recording in that particular set but also the best Lalo I have ever heard.

April 23, 2005 at 02:26 PM · Hi,

Lots of good recordings of this piece. Best to get a sample. Good ones to me are the two Heifetz versions (the first was unreleased until recently). The Francescatti is a must. Mind-blowing. The Grumiaux is excellent. Others that I would add to that list are Szeryng's recording (great as usual with him), and Augustin Dumay's recording which is thoughtful and nice.

For something really off the beaten path you could listen to Jacques Thibaud's recording made late in his career. A very different approach but interesting from the historical perspective.


April 23, 2005 at 03:53 PM · Jonathon Parle wrote:

Philips re-issued the Grumiaux 1954 Paris recording as part of a 5 CD "Original Masters" set. It is not only in my view the best recording in that particular set but also the best Lalo I have ever heard.


What else is on this recording? I haven't seen it. Or, do you have a link for it?

-Scott H.

April 23, 2005 at 04:13 PM · Scott,

I think this is it:


April 23, 2005 at 04:41 PM · Wo! Thank you!

April 23, 2005 at 05:00 PM · I had never heard Symphonie Espagnole before I bought that Grumiaux recording back in 9th grade. He's so freaking good that I didn't even realize it was considered a difficult piece until I heard other players - good ones - just barely getting stuff.

April 23, 2005 at 07:06 PM · The 5th movement is a bitch.

April 23, 2005 at 11:12 PM · Greetings,

Enosh has just been thrown out of his seventh feminist convention ;)



April 24, 2005 at 08:28 PM · perlman owns this piece IMO.

April 25, 2005 at 03:46 PM · I always liked the Perlman / Previn recording better than the Perlman / Barenboim one.

April 25, 2005 at 07:45 PM · I liked Francescatti, loved Heifetz and Milstein but Szeryng stole the show, no one came close to what he did with the lalo, sad it is basically impossible to find on cd here in the usa

April 27, 2005 at 07:37 PM · I have listened to several Lalo recordings and yesterday listened intently to Grumiaux. His recording is good, though lacking the Intermezzo (as do Heifetz' versions). Kogan's are cleaner, his intonation more accurate, his technique surer and his interpretation more dynamic and exciting. I judge Kogan's recordings of the Lalo preferable to Francescatti's for much the same reasons.

April 29, 2005 at 09:35 PM · I haven't found one that I like yet, but I don't like Mutter's or Shaham's one little bit.

April 29, 2005 at 11:24 PM · Shaham has recorded Lalo?

April 30, 2005 at 12:14 AM · yeah, weird I know :-P and usually I love Shaham's recordings.

April 30, 2005 at 05:46 AM · Bronislaw Huberman

April 30, 2005 at 06:30 PM · Jenni-

I could have sworn Shaham hadn't recorded this one yet. If so, any idea where I can find it?


May 20, 2005 at 10:12 PM · A couple of suggestions-The 1963 stereo recording by Grumiaux available as Philips Australia Eloquence 462 579 2. You can order it from

Also, Henryk Szeryng's 1959 recording with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Walter Hendl. No cd available-the original RCA catalog number is LSC 2456. I think this is one of the finest recordings of any music ever made.

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