Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 9. 1963.
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto (Nathan Milstein, violin; the Pitsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under William Steinberg: World Record). Exponent of the virtuoso violin concerto (Beethoven, Bruch, Glazunov). Master of the Violin Nathan Milstein turns his talent to good account in this recording—first issued in 1960—of history's most recorded violin exercise. Propriety has been maintained in the balance of some fluid bowing, prodigious double-stopping and arpeggios against a somewhat "matter-of-mechanical-fact" style and one of the boxiest orchestral recordings yet made.
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Shostakovich: Quintet for Piano and Strings (Hollywood String Quartet, Victor Aller piano; Record Society). This release dating from 1954, one of the finest Shostakovich recordings available, is a fitting compliment to the Society's recent issue of the 11th. The Hollywood group plays with an attack which oozes confidence, as is indicated in the difficult Scherzo. The tone and tempo are all one could wish for, excepting perhaps the brittle violins in the upper register.
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Sibelius: Symphony No. 4 (the Philharmonia Orchestra, under Herbert von Karajan; World Record). Recorded in the hey-day of the Philharmonia-Karajan marriage (1954), the 4th still stands out as a dominant piece of recording and interpretation. Never a one for the impersonal and the stereotyped. General musikdirektor of the Continent of Europe, Karajan, has foresaken fauna and sauna, in this dry, pretzel-like reading, which will not appeal to Sibelians raised on Collins. Kajanus and the school of "pine-trees wood-sprites and Northern-nights." A fine Tapiola acts as Pillip.—M.W.