Post by Al Eisner Post by drh8h Post by Randy Lane
Release Date 12/11/2020
Hooray is all I can say, keeping in mind some of his records were made way to late.
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances. What fraction of this still had Szigeti
in reasonably good form?
Everybody's opinion about Szigeti and when and how much he deteriorated will differ, and he was a highly variable player even in his good days.* I am mostly hoping for state-of-the-art transfers of some of the 78-era material from original lacquers, including his stupendous Bach d-minor Concerto from 1940, a performance that might make you give up HIP forever. But this will likely be the first chance many people will have had to hear his remake ten years later with Casals. Much more interesting conducting, but oh, how the playing and conception have changed and not for the good. Seriously, anything after the mid-1940s can be dicey. Part of it may be early Columbia lp "hi-fi" sound which could be unflattering to more than just Szigeti.
Depending on one's tolerance for wide vibrato and souring tone, probably about half this set. The nadir allegedly occurred with the lp of Brahms 1 & 3, actually recorded years apart, if I remember. Supposedly, it is rare because it was quickly withdrawn. Not present of course are the complete Mozart Sonatas and Bach Unaccompanied sold outright to Vanguard, and never issued by Columbia except for one Mozart disc with Szell, deleted after a couple of years.
Nonetheless, I will be in line to get this one. Now, come on, Sony, how about a complete Columbia Casals, at least the early lp era--Prades, Perpignan, Puerto Rico, etc. Marlboro doesn't fit the alliteration, and besides, it has largely been issued, although I think the Haydn Symphonies only in JP on cd.
*I am certain the indefatigable David Mendes could provide us with copious quotes about Szigeti from B. H. Haggin, including his observations about attending a Szigeti recital (miss the first piece, and maybe get out during the last one! If I remember.)