This release contains Henryk Szeryng`s studios recordings of the great violin concertos, realized by SWR between 1956-1984. Several recordings are first releases. The time period between 1950 and the beginning of the 70s were Szeryng`s golden era. Maybe the short time-span of his international career was the reason for his posthumous fame lasting not so long as that of his great colleagues David Oistrach, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein or Isaac Stern. It was just a few years ago that his musical legacy was re-discovered and appreciated again. Szeryng`s performances of Johann Sebastian Bach`s solo works were deemed to be standard-setting (an assessment still shared by Hilary Hahn) and he was respected as the leading authority on works such as Beethoven`s and Brahms` concertos. Szeryng was not only one of the most impressive and brilliant violinists in music history but also a master of proper and tasteful balance. A special gem of this release is the Saarbrücken recording of Karol Szymanowski`s rarely performed Violin Concerto No.2, a piece composed at the beginning of the 1930s.
Gramophone Magazine February 2021
Performance-wise virtually nothing falls beneath a minimum high standard, Szerying’s tone warm yet refined, his phrasing musically sympathetic and his way with the faster music articulate and energetic rather than frenetic...Quite a few of the transfers here fall short of SWR Classic’s best for clarity but such is the magnificent quality of the music-making that I would recommend you employ a degree of tolerance.