Ultimate Violin Classics: The Essential Masterpieces

(CD - Decca #4758371)

Review by

Ultimate Violin Classics: The Essential Masterpieces would be an appropriate title for this five-disc set of performances taken from EMI's archives, if it weren't for the word "The." These are certainly many of the greatest works for violin, but there are too many obvious omissions -- solos by Bach, concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, to name just a few -- for this to be considered a definitive collection of violin masterpieces. The collection is diverse: sonatas by Beethoven; concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Bruch; and many small encore-type works for violin and piano. The performers include some of the greatest violinists of the mid- to late 20th century: David Oistrakh, Henryk Szeryng, Ruggiero Ricci, and Arthur Grumiaux. The recordings were made from the 1950s to the 1970s, so the sound is not up to 21st century standards, but it's very fine for its era. The collection should interest listeners looking for an assortment of violin music of many eras and styles, beautifully played.

Track Listing - Disc 4

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
01:58
Serenade No. 7 for orchestra in D major ("Haffner"), K. 250 (K. 248b)
2
07:28
3
02:50
4
04:01
5
02:10
6
03:31
7
03:26
Violin Sonata, Op. 1/7
8
02:20
Concerto for 2 violins, cello, strings & continuo in D minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 11), Op. 3/11, RV 565
9
02:55
10
02:20
11
02:40
12
04:21
13
03:26
Thaïs, opera in 3 acts
14
04:25
15
02:08
16
03:33
17
02:57
18
02:01
19
03:56
20
02:56
España, album leaves (6) for piano, Op. 165, B. 37
21
02:38
22
02:37
23
03:08
Belshazzar's Feast (Belsazars gästabud), suite for orchestra (or piano), Op. 51
24
03:29
blue highlight denotes track pick