Milstein / Masterpieces / Susskind – Reviewed in 2013

More of the music of Nathan Milstein

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is a RARE and WONDERFUL SOUNDING original Capitol pressing of Milstein playing pieces for violin and orchestra by Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Saint-Saens and others. The recording of the Mozart Rondo on side one boasts DEMO DISC quality sound. Side one is amazingly rich, sweet and tubey magical. The violin is tonally correct, with the kind of immediacy few violin records (in our experience) manage to capture as well, while still retaining the correct size of the instrument.

Side One

Mozart: Adagio in E Major

Superb sound, we give it a sonic grade of A++, Super Hot. There is a touch of smear, the only thing that actually holds it back from our top grade.

Mozart: Rondo in C Major

Even better! A++ at least and probably better. We find one copy of this album every one or two years so it’s hard to do much of an exhaustive shootout with a title such as this, but we would be surprised to hear this piece sound any better. It’s Demo Disc quality.

Beethoven: Romance No. 2, in F Major

Not quite as good, lacking in some of the presence and immediacy that made the two previous pieces really come to life.

Side Two

Even better — A++ to A+++ and maybe it deserves the full A+++ As Good As It Gets White Hot Stamper grade, but for now let’s back it down a bit since we simply do not have enough copies to judge with.

So transparent and clear and high-rez you can hear Milstein breathing throughout the side! The violin is perfection harmonically, with no appreciable smear. It’s oversized, but that is quite common with violin recordings in our experience. (When you have big speakers and the violin is oversized it is very obvious. On smaller speakers not so much.) A real Demo Disc for NATURAL sound (if not natural size).

Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is on this side, and that makes it a very special record indeed.

Rare Capitol Milstein records in clean condition go for hundreds of dollars these days, and most sellers are going to be offering visually graded copies that could be noisy and full of groove damage, not to mention the fact that they may not sound good. If you don’t want to hassle with a bad pressing from the typical classical dealer or ebay seller, we have a lovely copy right here for the taking.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Mozart: Adagio in E Major
Mozart: Rondo in C Major
Beethoven: Romance No. 2, in F Major

Side Two

Wieniawski: Legende
Novacek: Perpetuum Mobile
Stravinsky: Berceuse, from “The Firebird”
Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso