Arthur Grumiaux / Raymond Leppard

Joseph & Michael Haydn: Violin Concertos; Mozart: Adagio; Rondo

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Known as much for his concerto recordings as for chamber music performances with his namesake Grumiaux Trio, violinist Arthur Grumiaux made a mark on the music industry by giving performances characterized by extreme technical precision, deep musical understanding of the score, and a magnificently warm and supple tone. More remarkable still was the consistency with which he delivered these performances. This CD from the late 1960s captures Grumiaux at the height of his talents and at a time when recording technology could truly capture his elegant tone. The repertoire selected from the works of Joseph and Michael Haydn and Mozart also typifies Grumiaux's preferred musical time period and the types of works that yielded his most dazzling performances. Grumiaux's interpretation of these classical concertos does lean toward the Romantic, but never in such a way as to sully the intentions of the composer. In fact, the composer's musical ideals are clearly paramount as Grumiaux's cadenzas are composed very much in line with the rest of the concerto while still allowing Grumiaux to demonstrate the extremes of his dazzling technique. The pleasingly high fidelity sound of the album on the whole, coupled with sparklingly clean and energetic performances by the English Chamber Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, and Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, produces an album that is recommended not just for collectors of historical recordings, but anyone seeking exceptional performances of these works.

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