S0539. GINETTE NEVEU, w.Schmidt-Isserstedt Cond. NDR S.O.: Concerto in D (Brahms). (Germany) Acanta 233585, Live Performance, 3 May, 1948. - 885150335857
"The legendary French violinist Ginette Neveu (1919–49) is heard live with the North German Radio Symphony in a hallmark performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto in D Major, from May 1948. An absolutely splendid reissue…. Its virtues include a wonderful singing tone, impassioned playing without any rough bowing, and an almost transcendent luminosity to Neveu's phrasing...[and is] even more spacious and, in places, more intense than her 1946 studio recording….It doesn't sound so much as if she is in the room with you than as if you are at the concert hall listening to her play. Seldom has Neveu's sound been captured so realistically, thus for her many fans this should be a must-get item."
“[Neveu] left a handful of recordings which document a remarkable musical spirit….She would surely have developed to one of the supreme violinists [had she not been taken from us at age 30] – she had already touched greatness.”
– Tully Potter, THE RECORDED VIOLIN
“Ginette Neveu was, for 14 years, one of the most promising musicians of the twentieth century, a violin virtuoso who dazzled audiences in her native France with her performances, and listeners around the world with her recordings. She is remembered today for the promise of her few recordings, and the tragedy of her early death in an airplane crash.
Neveu's musical abilities manifested themselves very early in her life, and she achieved fame as an infant prodigy. Her formal début took place at age seven and a half, with a performance of Bruch's g minor Violin Concerto in Paris. She quickly began winning prizes in competition, and took lessons from Georges Enescu, before entering the Paris Conservatory at age 11, where she earned the top student prize at the end of her first eight months there. It was her winning of the 1935 prize in the Wieniawski Competition at age 16, against a field of 180 competitors that included a 27-year-old David Oistrakh, that assured her international career, doubly so in the wake of the American and Russian débuts that followed. The outbreak of World War II interrupted her work and career, but in 1946 Neveu seemed ready to resume where she had left off in 1940, with performances in England, North and South America, and later Australia.
Neveu seemed poised for greatness, particularly after her triumphant appearance at Britain's Edinburgh Festival in 1949. On 29 October, 1949, Neveu and her brother boarded a plane for a trip to America and a new tour. The plane crashed in the Azores, with no survivors.
Neveu made her earliest recordings before the war in Berlin, but her adult recording career didn't begin until 1945 at EMI Records in London. Accompanied by the newly founded Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Walter Süsskind, she recorded the Sibelius Violin Concerto in d minor on 21 November, 1945. Her performance, squeezed in on an off-day between concerts, was so intense that her neck and chin were bleeding at the end of the day-long recording session. In August of the following year, she set down the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major with the Philharmonia conducted by Issay Dobrowen. Her other major recordings include works by Chausson, Debussy, Ravel, and Richard Strauss. She also left behind a collection of small-scale violin pieces.”
- Bruce Eder, allmusic.com