Chamber Music of Dvorák & Chausson

Chamber Music of Dvorák & Chausson

by Peter Rybar

CD

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Overview

Chamber Music of Dvorák & Chausson

Funny thing about historic recordings...there are those that document performances that have not been duplicated or surpassed in a half century or more -- recordings that belong on the shelf of any listener even the slightest bit interested in classical music. Then there are those recordings that are interesting from a purely historical perspective, but whose performances are not exactly what would be considered the gold standard for the particular works featured therein. This album, featuring pianist Artur Balsam and violinist Louis Kaufman, is one of the latter. Although the liner notes make passing references to the fact that these performances were recorded sometime in the 1950s, the exact dates and locations are nowhere to be found. Balsam, who was much sought after as a collaborator for chamber music, by far offers the strongest playing on the album. His string companions, including Kaufman, do not even come close to rising to his level. While these recordings are historically interesting because they were likely one of the first recordings of these pieces, from a musical standpoint they are completely unsatisfactory. Intonation is positively unendurable throughout. Only in the Dvorák "Op. 75 Romantic Pieces," where only Balsam and Kaufman play, is intonation even close to a modern level of acceptability. Ensemble problems plague the larger chamber works, and it often seems like it's Balsam against everyone else. While these may be the first recordings of these works, they are far from the definitive recordings. All but true history buffs should look elsewhere.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/03/2007
Label: Bridge
UPC: 0090404922527
catalogNumber: 9225

Tracks

  1. Piano Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, B. 162 (Op. 87)
  2. Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, B. 130 (Op. 65) (once listed as Op. 64)
  3. Romantic Pieces (4) for violin & piano, B. 150 (Op. 75) (rev. of Miniatures, B. 149)
  4. Concert, for violin, piano & string quartet in D major, Op. 21

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