Thursday, March 6, 2014

ASD 2783: Zukerman and Perlman do the Bach Double

ASD 2783
J.S. Bach:
Double Concerto in D Minor
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E
Violin Concerto in G Minor


Itzhak Perlman, violin
Pinchas Zukerman, violin
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
English Chamber Orchestra

Pressing: (most likely) black and white postage stamp

Condition: NM

Stampers:
2YEA 4341-2
2YEA 4342-3

Date first published: 1972

Performance: 10/10

Sound: 7/10

Price range: no popsike data

Comments: This was the first recording of the Bach Double Violin Concerto and solo Violin Concertos I'd ever heard back when I was in high school, and what an impression it made on me.  At the time, I was learning the Double Concerto with a friend, and I still remembering checking out the cassette from the library and being blown away by the performance.  By today's standards, this recording would be considered romantic and old-fashioned, considering that most baroque performances these days follow the path of "historically informed performances".  Needless to say, this Perlman and Zukerman recording is not a vibrato-free, period instrument recording.  This is full-toned, full vibrato Bach, and while this may no longer be in vogue, it sure was back then, and the soloists play the hell out of these pieces.  In all honesty, I have yet to find a recording of the Double Concerto that moves me more than this one.  Perlman and Zukerman split up the two solo violin concertos.  Of the two, I generally prefer the E major, but both are enjoyable.  That is, if you don't mind "old-school" Bach.

Some ten years later, I acquired the CD of this recording, and a few years after that, I managed to snatch up a copy of the LP.  Oddly enough, I found the LP a disappointment.  To begin with, in spite of the NM condition, there was some surface noise that could not be eradicated even after a cleaning on my VPI 16.5.  Secondly, although the sound is rich and full on both the cassette and CD, it sounds less so on the LP.  I have to really turn up the volume to get a decent listening level.  I find this surprising for an EMI pressing from the 1970s, which are usually quite excellent.  It's certainly possible that this may be an issue with my pressing only and that others could sound better.  In any case, the music is what's important here, and I can recommend that wholeheartedly.

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