Saturday, January 19, 2013

Isaac Stern, Alexander Zakin
"Brahms: Sonata nos. 1 & 3" (Vinyl)

I love Brahms' first violin sonata in G major.  It has some of the simplest, beautiful melodies ever.  I first heard Henryk Szeryng's recording with Artur Rubinstein and I stopped dead in my tracks.

Since that time, I've made an excuse to perform the sonata myself and am always happy to find another, different recording of Brahms' violin sonatas.

This is a Columbia six-eye Masterworks that has seen a few rough encounters with fingernails because its condition is far from ideal, so it's relegated to my secondary system.

Knowing the quality of Masterworks recordings makes the shrill tone quality of Mr. Stern all the more decisively frustrating.  It is another step towards the full blown comment: "I don't like Isaac Stern's" playing.  But to be fair, many of the great violinists of his generation go against my grain.  I'm still seeking out the root cause of this sentiment...

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