S0399. MICHAEL RABIN: Kreisler, Heifetz & Paganini; w.Mitropoulos, Kubelik, Voorhees, etc. Cond.: Violin Concerti by Brahms, Bruch, Wieniawski, Prokofiev, Mohaupi & Creston; w.Zino Francescatti: Double Concerto in d for Two Violins (Bach). (Canada) 3-Doremi 7951/53, recorded 1952-67. - 723721406257
“Not only violin fans but all music lovers will be delighted with this set of performances by the legendary Michael Rabin, a violin virtuoso and fine musician who, in his short life (1936-1972), generated explosive excitement and had, and still has, one of the most evident cult followings in classical music.
The three CDs are fully loaded with live performances, all previously un-issued in any format, of concertos, solos and real showpieces for violin and orchestra. These were taken down at various stages of Rabin’s meteoric career, from his precocious teen-age years when he was a frequent and popular guest on The Bell Telephone Hour broadcast nationally on the NBC Network, to the fully mature, seasoned master delivering astounding performances of the Brahms, Bruch’s 1st, and Prokofiev’s 2nd violin concertos. We hear also his earliest known live performances of the Wieniawski first concerto, a work that to this day only Rabin plays with such finesse. He later recorded it for EMI, as authoritatively as if he owned it. Both Perlman and Shaham have recorded the Concerto, but neither approaches Rabin’s supremacy in this repertoire. Also included in this set are two ‘contemporary’ concertos apparently played only by Rabin: those by Richard Mohaupt (German-American 1904-1957) heard here with the NYPO conducted by Mitropoulos (1954) and American Paul Creston’s Concerto #2, commissioned by Rabin (1962).
A 1952 collaboration between the young Rabin and the mature and celebrated Zino Francescatti is heard in a scintillating performance of the first movement of Bach’s Double Concerto BWV1042, Rabin playing primo! Six of Paganini’s Solos Caprices (Berlin 1961) are wondrous.
Most of the repertoire presented here does not exist in Rabin’s commercial discography or in previously issued live performances. The informative and authoritative liner notes were written by Dr. Anthony Feinstein, author of “Michael Rabin: America’s Virtuoso Violinist” (Amadeus Press, 2005), the only biography of the late musician.
It is known that Michael Rabin wished to record the Brahms Violin Concerto. This set honours that wish with a breathtaking performance from 1967 with Rafael Kubelik in Chicago. The sound is of studio quality as are all the tracks except for the Mohaupt and Creston concertos which were rescued from contemporary acetates. The set helps to fill significant omissions in the catalogue.”
- Bruce Surtees, EARLY, CLASSICAL AND BEYOND, April, 2009