BRAILOWSKY - The Complete Polydor Recordings, Volume 2 (1928-36)
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1. Solo works and transcriptions of music by Debussy, Falla, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, Wagner, and Weber
Alexancer Brailowsky, piano
PRISTINE CLASSICAL PAKM079 (2 disks) TT: 1:38:16

HAYDN; Symphony No. 94 in G. TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 "Little Russian." ROSSINI: The Italian Woman in Algiers Overture. DVORÁK: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 "From the New World."
Boston Symphony Orchestra/ Carlo Maria Giulini, cond,
PRISTINE CLASSICAL pasc 559 (2 disks) TT: 1:52:52

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D, K, 217. PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63. MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64.
Jascha Heifetz, violin. Boston Symphony Orchestra / Serge Kousevitzky. Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra / Donald Voorhees (Mendellssohn)

Several months ago, this site praised Volume I of Pristine's Alexander Brailowsky series of earry Poydr recordings featuring music of Chopin, the major work being Piano Concerto No, 1 (REVIEW). Now we have the second issue, devoted primarily to music of Liszt, the featured work the Piano Concerto No. 1. Again the pianist is accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic directed by Julius Prüwer, This is a somewhat frantic and not note-perfect reading, but quite exciting. We also have many other works of Liszt along with other virtuoso showpieces, all displaying the pianist at the height of his career. Mark Obert-Thorn's transfers of these 1928-1936 Polydor recordings could not be bettered. Brailowsky's later RCA recordings already have been issued on Sony. Surely collectors will wish to investigate his earlier recordings.

Carlo Maria Giulini (1914 - 2005) was a major figure on both European and American musical scenes. He had long associations with a number of orchestras including the St. Cecilia Orchestra, the Philharmonia London's Philharmonia, the Chicago Sym;phony, and was Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 1978-1984. He also was respected in the world of opera. Pristine here offers two concerts with the Boston Symphony. Giulini had appeared with the famed orchestra 20 times from 1962 - 1974. The Rossini and Tchaikovsky are from a concert March 2, 1962, other works are from March 9 of the same year. The two symphonies were favorites of the conductor. It is interesting that the conductor omits the gong just before the coda of the Tchaikovsky symphony. It is in the score, and the conductor used it (played very quietly) in his Philharmonia Orchestra recording. Giulini made two commercial recordings of the Dvorták (Philharmonia / Royal Concertgebouyw) .At any rate, these outstanding performances are magnificently played and the stereo sound is remarkably full and rich. An outstanding issue for Giulini fans. perhaps some of his other Boston performances will show up?

Pristine's Jascha Heifetz disk is unique. The amazing violinist recorded all three concertos commercially including the Mozart with Sir Malcolm Sargent and Beecham, the Mendelssohn with Beecham, Cantelli, Toscanini and Munch. These Koussevitzky performances from a concert April 1, 1949. were recorded "undercover" by an engineer who placed a microphone in the ventilating grill on the right side of the stage, recording the performances on disks at another location Under the audio circumstances, it is remarkable the sonic picture is as well-balanced as it is. Heifetz would make his famous stereo recording of the Prokofiev ten years later with Charles Munch on the opodium, but this earlier, assured reading is fascinating. Many leading artists appeared frequently on the Bell Telephone Hour, and Heifetz was one of them. As the program was only a half-hour, short selections or movements were usually presented. June 26, 1939 he played the first movement of the Mendelssohn, and the other two movements were presented January 20, 1947, so now we have the complete work with the fine orchestra under the direction of Donald Voorhees, supplementing Heifetz's commercial recordings.

R.E.B. (March 2019)