S0063. NATHAN MILSTEIN: The Art of Nathan Milstein, incl. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Gluck, Corelli, Tartini, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Glazunov, Dvorak, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Tschaikowsky, Wieniawski, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Chopin, Sarasate, de Falla, Kreisler, Massenet & Saint-Saens. 6-EMI 64830, recorded 1955-56, Slipcase Edition. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 077776483023
"THE ART OF NATHAN MILSTEIN includs concertos, duo sonatas and shorter works. They summarize, instruct and enthrall.
Of Camille Saint-Saens, it was quipped that he possessed all the attributes of a great composer save innocence; he was incurably, imperturbably urbane. Milstein's 1963 recording of Saint-Saens' Third Violin Concerto - a recording, that is, from his 60th year - is without doubt one of the most beautiful ever made by a violinist, and a high point.
A performance more earnest than Milstein's would make this music sound sentimental. A more brilliant performance - from a less transcendental instrumentalist, incapable of Milstein's composure under fire - would make it sound trite. The vehemence of the concerto's opening Allegro, the intoxication of its luminous, swaying slow movement, the elan and manque religiosity of its tarantella-and-chorale finale - all, in Milstein's hands, are poised, but perfectly, between passion and refinement. The result is transformative: an exercise in elegance and craftsmanship become sublime."
- Joseph Horowitz, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 22 Aug., 1993
"Always putting the music before himself was a hallmark of Milstein’s humility and humanity….The instrument is an extension of the human voice, and the bow is to playing the violin as the breath is to singing….I measure violinists by somewhat different standards; and by those standards, if anyone deserves the title of greatest violinist of the 20th century, it is Nathan Milstein."
- Jerry Dubins, FANFARE, Jan./Feb., 2006
"Nathan Milstein was a violinist’s violinist. While he possessed a superb virtuoso technique, he was never ostentatious. When the music sparkled as he played, it was because he was clearly enjoying it and wanted you to enjoy it too, not because he wanted to dazzle you with his own personality or tone, à la Heifetz. He could do justice to true musical masterpieces, and not just use them as vehicles for display as Heifetz too often did….If you want to hear a master enjoying himself, this set is a good choice."
- Joseph Magil, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2005