S0808. IDA HAENDEL: Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV1004 – Chaconne (Bach), recorded 1995; w.Sir Adrian Boult Cond. London Phil.: Violin Concerto in b (Elgar), recorded 1977 & 1978. (Austria) Testament SBT 1146. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 749677114626
“Elgar was a skillful master who brought classical procedures into the 20th century, and he possessed a wistful, elegiac and affectingly personal voice. The surprisingly comprehensive Elgar discography should help change perceptions.
One record that makes the case for Elgar is the recent Testament reissue of the sprawling, utterly original Violin Concerto, with Adrian Boult, a colleague of the composer who attended the work's 1910 premiere, conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ida Haendel, a great British violinist of Polish birth, who was 53 when this recording was made in 1977. The piece is ruggedly virtuosic and musically intricate, a curious and haunting combination. The thematic writing is boldly asymmetrical; melodic lines often evolve in a series of short, abrupt phrases, a quality that has rendered Elgar open to the charge of being short-winded.
But Ms. Haendel's assured performance forges these clipped phrases into long, riveting arcs of music. She was admired for her resourceful technique, inspired musicianship and intelligence. She didn't go in for attention-grabbing display and emotive expressivity, partly the reason, perhaps, that she never attained great popularity. But she was an ideal interpreter of this work, and Boult, who was 88 at the time, brings deep sensitivity and the insight of a noted Elgar advocate.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 22 Jan., 1999
"Ida Haendel’s reputation among violin devotees has assumed almost legendary status in recent years, not least on account of her almost total neglect by record companies since the 1950s. She’s probably best known for a first-rate Elgar Violin Concerto recorded with Adrian Boult reissued on Testament."
- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com