Szymanowski: Violin Concerto No. 1; Symphony No. 3

Album review
Szymanowski: Violin Concerto No. 1; Symphony No. 3


Violin Concerto No. 1; Symphony No. 3

Label: DG
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

Boulez first heard the music of Karol Szymanowski as a teenager, but never championed it until now. Tant pis. His accounts of both works are simply gorgeous. He shows an immediate affinity for the Concerto’s idiom (its opening measures must surely have reminded him of Le chant du rossignol). Once the violin enters, we get a whiff of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy, and we’re off. This is as hedonistic as music can get, and the Philharmoniker eat it up. The solo part is magnificently realized. The engineers give Tetzlaff just a little boost, but the perspective is that of an ideal seat in the center of the Musikverein, a few rows back from the stage. The Third Symphony, the last overripe fruit to fall from Szymanowski’s tree, is played to perfection and sensationally well recorded via what appears to be a minimal mike setup that allows this glorious orchestra and its hall to do the work. The acoustic of the Musikverein has never been better captured. Despite the DG label, everything was done by a team from Austrian Radio—producer, recording engineer, assistant engineers, and editors. Perhaps there’s a lesson in this. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Szymanowski
  • group member, Christian Tetzlaff
  • group member, Vienna Philharmonic
  • CD

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