Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.47
Serenades in D and G minor, Opp.69a & 69b
Humoreske in E flat, Op.89/3
Ida Haendel (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Berglund
CD No: EMI ENCORE CDE 5 75236 2 Duration: Reviewed: June 2002
Ida Haendel plays Sibelius - EMI
Reviewed by Colin Anderson
This is a towering account of Sibeliuss concerto. Superbly transferred, there is an attractive analogue glow to the sound. Recorded in July 1975, this issue is also analogous to the original ASD LP release.
Short measure doesnt enter into the equation here. Ida Haendel has made this concerto very much her own. Spaciously conceived, and with the backing of a master Sibelian in Paavo Berglund, Haendels trenchancy, poise, expressiveness and tonal variety are always at one with Sibeliuss design.
Its a compelling reading, soloist and conductor in rapport, Haendel never crossing the line between interpretative validity and attention seeking; the latter wouldnt occur to Haendel I suspect given her integrity. This honest and heroic account, with Berglunds darkly luminous backing a joy in itself, is certainly among the very finest and preferable to some lauded versions of more recent vintage.
If Haendel is slightly too closely balanced, her playing can take the spotlight everything she does is for the music; the reverberant acoustic (Southamptons Guildhall) aids the orchestras depth of tone.
The two serenades are rather more substantial and searching than the title suggests, while the perky Humoreske is a delight what a shame Haendel didnt record all six!
At budget price, this CD is an essential purchase.