Pierre Fournier / David Oistrakh / Alceo Galliera / London Symphony Orchestra / Philharmonia Orchestra

Brahms: Double Concerto; Tragic Overture; Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1

(CD - EMI Music Distribution #45765)

Review by

They were not weak, the Europeans of the post-War years. As these strong-willed, clear-eyed and warm-hearted performances from 1954 and 1956 by the Russian David Oistrakh, the French Pierre Fournier, the Italian Alceo Galliera, the Slovene Lovro von Matacic and the eminently British Philharmonia and London Symphony orchestras show, they had more muscle, more intellect and just as much heart as the finest pre-War players. The disc opens with Galliera's incredibly ferocious reading of Brahms' Tragic Overture then moves into Oistrakh and Fournier's intensely dramatic performance of Brahms' Double Concerto and concludes with Oistrakh and Matacic's grandly lyrical interpretations of Bruch's G minor Violin Concerto. Oistrakh has rarely sounded as strong, Fournier has rarely sound as powerful, and Galliera has almost never sounded this aggressive, but, as they who know his later recordings know, Matacic has almost always sounded this masterful. EMI's monaural and early stereo sound is rich, full, deep and amazingly vivid, especially considering its antique vintage.

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