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Beethoven / Bruch: Violin Concertos - Accardo / Masur

Beethoven / Bruch: Violin Concertos - Accardo / Masur

PentaTone RQR  PTC 5186 237

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1

Salvatore Accardo (violin)
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Kurt Masur (conductor)


Classic recordings of the perennially popular violin concertos of Beethoven and Bruch performed by the veteran soloist Salvatore Accardo with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester under Kurt Masur can now be heard for the first time in their vivid, multi-channel original sound in this new release from PENTATONE.

First released in 1977-78 on the Philips Classics label, Accardo’s rendition of the Beethoven Violin Concerto and his masterly survey of the violin concertos of Bruch were praised by critics for the luminous playing and for Masur’s sensitive and nuanced accompanying.

Although recorded in multi-channel sound, these classic performances in the repertoire have previously been available only in the conventional two-channel stereo format. Using state of the art technology which avoids the need for re-mixing, PENTATONE’s engineers have remastered the original studio tapes to bring the performances to life as originally intended: in compelling and pristine multi-channel sound. Famous for his heartfelt and searching interpretations of the Romantic repertoire, the German conductor Kurt Masur, who died in December 2015, was one of the most critically acclaimed and admired conductors of the late 20th century. He recorded extensively for Philips while Kapellmeister at the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and his account of the Bruch symphonies and the violin concertos with Accardo as soloist were instantly popular with the critics. For Accardo, the Philips sessions also marked the start of his recordings of the mainstream repertoire, previously having dazzled audiences with his landmark recordings of the Paganini violin concertos.

For their programme, it comes as a surprise to learn that Beethoven’s lyrical and serene Violin Concerto op. 61 was rather indifferently received in his lifetime. The same however could not be said of Bruch’s arresting Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26 whose popularity the composer would later live to regret as it overshadowed his other works. Nevertheless both concertos are firmly established as favourites with audiences and players alike. And these inspired performances, here in glorious, multi-channel sound, will no doubt win over a new generation of discerning audiophiles.

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Analogue recording

Recorded at Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig, Germany in June 1977

Produced by Raimar Bluth

Remastered in June 2016 by Polyhymnia International B.V.
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Comment by Luketsu - January 25, 2017 (1 of 7)

PENTATONE announced its first REMASTERED CLASSICS albums for this year:

May 2017
REMASTERED CLASSICS Puccini - La Fanciulla del West
Zubin Mehta, Placido Domingo, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Giacomo Puccini

July 2017
REMASTERED CLASSICS Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra & Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Seiji Ozawa, Raphael Kubelik, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Béla Bartók

REMASTERED CLASSICS Mozart - String Quintets Nos. 1-6
Arthur Grumiaux, Georges Janzer, Eva Czako, Max Lesueur, Arpad Gérecz
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

There will be more albums soon. Most likely they will be:

REMASTERED CLASSICS Liszt - A Faust Symphony
Leonard Bernstein, Kenneth Riegel, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Franz Liszt

REMASTERED CLASSICS Berlioz - Roméo et Juliette
Seiji Ozawa, Julia Hamari, Jean Dupouy, José van Dam, New England Conservatory Chorus, Lorna Cooke DeVaron, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Hector Berlioz

REMASTERED CLASSICS Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story / Gershwin - An American in Paris
Seiji Ozawa, San Francisco Symphony
Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin

REMASTERED CLASSICS Holst - The Planets, Op. 32 / Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
Pinchas Steinberg, New England Conservatory Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Holst, Richard Strauss

REMASTERED CLASSICS Ravel - Daphnis et Chloé (complete ballet) & Rapsodie espagnole
Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Maurice Ravel

REMASTERED CLASSICS Mahler - Symphony No. 5
Claudio Abbado, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Mahler

REMASTERED CLASSICS Tchaikovsky - Pique Dame
Mstislav Rostropovich, Peter Gougaloff, Galina Vishnevskaya, Regina Resnik, Fausto Tenzi, Dan Iordachescu, Dimiter Petkov, Hanna Schwarz, Ewa Dobrowska, Bernd Weikl, Lucia Popp, Choeur Tchaikovsky, R.T.F. Maitrise De Radio France, Orchestre National De France
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Comment by John Broggio - January 28, 2017 (2 of 7)

Thanks for posting that - some very tempting (re-)releases and I wonder what other gems they can prise from the vaults of DG?

Comment by john hunter - February 8, 2017 (3 of 7)

Yes Thank you Luukas.Some must haves there.
I would love them to investigate Decca's quad recordings.
Always the best recording quality way back then.

Comment by Scott Adair - May 10, 2017 (4 of 7)

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that "Pinchas" Steinberg is a mistake. Surely, it is William Steinberg with Boston doing The Planets & Zarathustra (originally a DG issue). If this is true, I will be extremely glad to have it. To my way of thinking, it is the best performance of The Planets, ever. There's no mention of it on the Pentatone site, that I can find, anyway.

Comment by Luketsu - May 10, 2017 (5 of 7)

Scott Adair you're right, William Steinberg conducted the disc.

As far as I know PENTATONE will upload more RQR albums to release planning in the weeks to come. Moreover Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame" was included to their wish list for DGG when it comes to licensing their quad recordings.

Stay tuned and check the list regularly.

Comment by ubertrout - May 13, 2017 (6 of 7)

I think the inclusion of the wishlist is a little misleading - it fooled me the first time I looked. Unless you have inside info, the only discs we know are coming/here are the Puccini and Bartok. Ozawa's recording of Daphnis would be great to have (and probably a treat in quad - and I wouldn't be surprised if we got it given that we got Ravel: Orchestral works - Ozawa. You never know on the Steinberg and Bernstein recordings - those would be Day 1 preorders (which I'm sure Pentatone knows), but there might be a licensing issues with some of the more "prize" parts of the DG discography. This would explain why we've gotten a lot of material from DG that hasn't been kept in print.

While I was writing this I remembered that Pentone has said the next three releases they'll have will be most of the Kubelik Beethoven cycle (1+5, 2+4, and 6,7,8) - another out-of-print gem. I think the secret with Pentatone is to recognize that, especially regarding the Deutsche Grammophon archives, we're more likely to get stuff that's been lost in the shuffle than recordings they keep in print. For instance, the Steinberg Holst/Strauss is available for 24/96 download, and DG may not want to compete with itself, lame as that is. Put another way, don't expect greatest hits, expect catalog treasures we've lost sight of. But be prepared to be surprised.

Of course, there's also Steinberg's excellent recording of Hindemith out there, which isn't quite so well-known (it's only in print on Eloquence I believe).

Comment by john hunter - May 17, 2017 (7 of 7)

An update from the guys at Pentatone would be most welcome. Hopefully they still keep an eye on this site.