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Brahms: Double Concerto / Beethoven: Triple Concerto Original recording reissued

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, October 31, 1995
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Concerto For Violin, Violoncello And Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 102 'Double Concerto': I. Allegro
  2. Concerto For Violin, Violoncello And Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 102 'Double Concerto': II. Andante
  3. Concerto For Violin, Violoncello And Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 102 'Double Concerto': III. Vivace Non Troppo
  4. Concerto For Piano, Violin, Violoncello And Orchestra In C Major, Op. 56 'Triple Concerto': I. Allegro
  5. Concerto For Piano, Violin, Violoncello And Orchestra In C Major, Op. 56 'Triple Concerto': II. Largo
  6. Concerto For Piano, Violin, Violoncello And Orchestra In C Major, Op. 56 'Triple Concerto': III. Rondo Alla Polacca


Product Details

  • Performer: Zion Francescatti, Pierre Fournier, Leonard Rose, John Corigliano, Walter Hendle
  • Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Bruno Walter
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (October 31, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002A85
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,118 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 7, 2003
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As someone who has only recently begun seriously collecting classical CDs, the Bruno Walter Edition has been a revelation. Walter, at the end of his career, set out to record his signature pieces for posterity in what was then the new technology of stereo. And unlike von Karajan, who rushed to record his repertoire at the dawn of the video and digital era to often-mixed results, every Walter performance I have encountered is absolutely brilliant. This recording of Brahms' Double Concerto, with violinist Zino Francescatti and cellist Pierre Fournier from 1959, is no exception. (It should be noted that the Beethoven Triple, a stunning account featuring Corigliano, Hendl and Rose, is a mono performance from 1949 during Walter's days with the New York Philharmonic.) There are other Beethoven Triple/Brahms Double discs out there that are equally good -- most notably the Karajan/Szell EMI title featuring the triumverant of Richter, Rostropovich and Oistrakh -- but none of them are superior to these accounts. Also, I should note that since making a point of acquiring all of the Bruno Walter Edition titles earlier this year, I have witnessed several of them falling prey to the deletion axe. So order the Bruno Walter Edition titles quickly, because these recordings made during the twilight of Walter's career, seem to be in the twilight of their own life as well.
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I have long treasured the Francescatti/Fournier/Walter recording of the Brahms Double Concerto, and I also own the earlier Stern/Rose/Walter. I have long known of Walter's recording of the Beethoven Triple Concerto, but this has been my first hearing of it. It was probably one of the briskest and certainly one of the most joyous performances of the Triple Concerto I have known. The soloists are fully up to the challenge of meeting Walter's lively tempo--in particular Messrs. Corigliano and Rose with the fantastically difficult string parts. The 1949 recording does show its age, with the orchestra somewhat distant and the piano sound somewhat tubby. However, it is a true pleasure to hear this performance at last.

It was entirely appropriate to pair this performance of the Beethoven Triple with the Francescatti/Fournier/Walter Brahms Double. The recorded sound is clear and vivid. The playing of Messrs. Francescatti and Fournier is at once virtuosic and expressive. Walter's Brahms conducting has always been well-conceived and expressive, and I find in this performance greater contrasts of tempo and expression than is heard in the earlier Stern/Rose/Walter recording. These two performances are truly inspired music-making!
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I was 13 when I discovered for the first time classical music and the Beethoven Triple with this recording was my first encounter thanks to a mother who had a passion for it. We were back in Paris definitely and French people did not even know this concerto and many still don't. Walter and his soloists are probably among the very few to have understood that this is chamber music and not the stereo spectacular that Karajan and Rostropovich massacred a few decades later as many others interpreters. Only the Marlborough festival edition of Alexander Schneider a few years later, this one recorded in full stereo, equals this fantastic performance any real classical music lover should possess! It's a must, it's a unsurpassed gem.
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Bruno Walter's 1949 recording of Beethoven's Triple Concerto was made with the first seats of the New York Philharmonic, John Corigliano and Leonard Rose, and its pianist and assistant conductor Walter Hendl. Beethoven's Triple Concerto was rare stuff back then on record: to the best of my knowledge, this was only the second recording ever made of it, after Weingartner's 1938 recording, Beethoven Concertos 1937 & 1939 (Toscanini's 1942 broadcast performance, Beethoven: Symphony Number 5, surfaced only later). It is likely to shock those used to the famous recoding and more spacious approach of the Soviet dream team of Oistrakh-Rostropovich and Richter under the baton of Karajan (Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4; Triple Concerto). It is a performance of considerable urgency and drive, with hardly any repose in the first movement (compare its 16:33 to Karajan's 17:49), and wonderful zest in the finale. The central Largo looses nothing of its movingly songful qualities (why do I think of Schubert's piano trios when I hear this music?), thanks to Rose's magnificent eloquence and great rapport with Corigliano. Those interpretive options make the Triple Concerto sound closer to the Third Piano Concerto than to the Pastorale Symphony - not an entirely irrelevant option, I think, although not one that I hear often exercised on disc.Read more ›
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