Ida Haendel

Ida Haendel plays Mendelssohn & Stravinsky

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Dutton Records does a tremendous service for listeners -- especially aficionados of historical recordings -- with their brilliant restoration of some of the most brilliant yet uncelebrated recordings of the last century. In the case of the present album, Dutton celebrates the early recording career of a living artist -- violinist Ida Haendel. Throughout her long, active career, Haendel has never been given the "superstar" status that, despite being every bit as strong of a performer as Menuhin or Szeryng, she most certainly deserves. This album features recordings from the 1940s of the popular Mendelssohn Violin Concerto as well as lesser-known works by Stravinsky, Szymanowski, de Falla, and Albéniz. One of the most refreshing aspects of Haendel's playing is that each of these very different composers is treated with unique character and flare, something so often lacking in many recordings that provide a variety of works. The sound quality has been exceptionally restored; the full range of Haendel's ample tone palette can be thoroughly enjoyed without hiss or the dullness that sometimes accompanies recordings of this era. The only thing lacking is a more comprehensive set of liner notes that detail Haendel's rather impressive life and career. Still, this album is an absolute success and one certainly deserving of a spot in most any collection.

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