Beethoven: Violin Concerto (milstein / Boult)
Label: EMI CLASSICS
Great performance of the Beethoven, by the two grand old masters. The problem with Nathan Milstein was that he played way too well, seemingly without effort - and consistently. He was still sounding every bit as good at age 83 as he was in this video (at age 69). Boult, well into his 80s at the time this was made, gives perfect direction of the Beethoven - although the orchestra pretty much remains in shadow whenever Milstein is on the platform. Never one for conventionality, Milstein plays his own cadenzas - these are musically unusual, but a refreshing change from the ones by Joachim and others which are heard in nearly all performances and recordings. The Vaughan-Williams Symphony #8 is fine - Boult recorded all of them in the 60s (I think with the LSO?) and he knew them extremely well. Why it was included with the Beethoven Concerto, I'm not quite sure. Maybe they should have just released the entire concert from start to finish? EMI's other Milstein disc isn't spectacular, but it would have been a better choice to put the Beethoven there. Nonetheless, this disc comes highly recommended.