Post by Bozo
Haken Austbo , Grieg ( complete ? ) , 2 -cd , Berlin Classics label.
Mark Bebbington , Alwyn and Carwithen ( not known to me ), SOMM label. I enjoyed Bebbington's SOMM cd of the neglected Hurlstone Piano Sonata.
Perhaps like the Brahms 2nd Pico , the Beethoven Vico getting slower ?
Performances of the Beethoven VC are getting slower and far too
reverential. It's gotten to the point where IMHO it no longer works in
concert. The last two live performances I heard had interminable first
movements, with little contrast at all to the second movements. The
final movement sounded more dirge-like than dance-like. This is more
the rule than the exception these days judging from recordings and videos.
The first movement of the Violin Concerto is marked "Allegro ma non
troppo." There is nothing "Allegro" at all about most current
performances. In contrast, the near-contemporaneous Fourth Piano
Concerto is marked "Allegro moderato". While there has been a tendency
to slow this piece down too over the years, one would think that
"Allegro moderato" would be slower (more moderate) than "Allegro ma non
troppo", yet the basic pulse of nearly every performance of the first
movement of the Violin Concerto is slower than what prevails for PC 4.
In any case there should be a distinct difference between the first
movement and the "Larghetto" marking of the second. When there is not,
something is clearly amiss.
I decided to list the timings of the first movements from some of the
recordings on my server. Here's the list:
Kreisler 24:11 (1926)
Wolfstahl 21:48 (1929)
Szigeti 22:31 (1932)
Heifetz 21:18 (1940)
Menuhin 23:55 (1953)
Milstein 21:13 (1955)
Francescatti 23:41 (1960)
Schneiderhan 24:25 (1962)
Oistrakh 24:03 (1962)
Stern 23:52 (1965)
Chung 25:26 (1979)
Perlman 24:24 (1981)
Hahn 24:25 (1998)
Tetzlaff 22:50 (2005)
Repin 25:27 (2007)
Capucon 24:27 (2009)
While there are exceptions, there has been a tendency for performances
of the first movement to drift from a 21-22 minute norm prior to 1960 to
a 25 minute norm today.
The Heifetz/Milstein/Wolfstahl interpretations make far more sense to
me. The "ring every ounce out of every measure to show our appreciation
for its spiritual depth" performances simply kill the piece.