Magazine article Strings

Szymon Goldberg: The Centenary Collection, Vol. Ii: Commercial Recordings, 1932-1951

Magazine article Strings

Szymon Goldberg: The Centenary Collection, Vol. Ii: Commercial Recordings, 1932-1951

Article excerpt

SZYMON GOLDBERG: THE CENTENARY COLLECTION, VOL. II: COMMERCIAL RECORDINGS, 1932-1951. Szymon Goldberg, violin; Philharmonia Orchestra. (Music & Arts)

This second volume of Music & Art's tribute to iconic Polish violinist Szymon Goldberg gathers 78 rpm material comprising Bach and Mozart concertos, Haydn piano trios and sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven, and repertoire to which he did not return in later years, such as string quartets, string trios, and string duos. Especially moving on this budget-priced eight-CD set are the rare recordings from 1932 of Goldberg, who had risen meteorically to become Furtwängler's Berlin concertmaster at the age of 21, playing Beethoven, Schubert, and Dvorak with Berlin Philharmonic colleagues, some of whom, like violinist Gilbert Back and cellist Nikolai Graudan, played influential roles as players and teachers in Southern California. Their playing is richly-layered, fully-textured, and generous, and their immense technical command inconspicuously underlies everything they do, as you would expect from the cornerstones of a great orchestra. Goldbergs ability to move the music (and the musicians) quickly and decisively by such simple devices as attacking a trill (as in Op. 18, No. 5) or a tune (the last movement of Op. 30, No. 1) is a lesson that still bears learning.

In the Bach and Mozart concertos, in which the orchestral playing is generally more velvet and over-upholstered than most are used to hearing today, the impeccable integrity of Goldberg's slight, silvery tone asserts itself through its steely command of line and tone. …

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